We all like to think that the work we do and the service we provide is recognized and appreciated by those we work with and for.
Think about the people you work with, the professionals you encountered or hired, the people whose services you enlisted – which ones stand out in your mind? For me there are two types of standouts, each of them drive me to action. The first is a bad experience. I go out of my way to warn people away from those providers. The second and preferred standout is a great experience. I go out of my way to recommend them whenever I can. I like to reward a positive or great experience, don’t you? And that experience is not just limited to the actual service someone provides but it also includes the interaction I had with the person who actually did the work.
At a conference I spoke at yesterday initiated by Tanya Cole of the U.S. Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce, one of the discussions I led was about just that – the VALUE EXPERIENCE and how it impacts you, your career, and your business. It was held at Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business and was well attended by women and men interested in exploring international expansion for their businesses and their careers. Each of the speakers (I’m seated in the middle) presented different tools, skills, and resources professionals and business owners need to achieve their goals. My area of focus, no surprise here, was how to power up and leverage their personal and corporate brands.
I defined Value as being made up of two components. The first component of Value is the concrete - the actual work you do, the service you provide, the product you sell – the way you help those you work for or those you sell to, to solve some problem or fill some need. It’s the basics of what gets you in the game. What helps you differentiate you from everyone else is the second component of Value, and that’s the intangible part of the equation. I call it your secret sauce.
Your secret sauce is all about the experience others have working with you or buying from you. It’s what differentiates you from everybody else who does what you do, but can’t do it in the same way. It’s composed of the ingredients that are specific to the way you do your job, provide your service, or sell your products. It includes your history, your experiences, your unique skills and talents, your personality, how you make others feel, how you show them you care.
The Value experience makes someone recommend you, hire you, promote you, become your brand ambassador. It’s what drives them to action.
What’s your secret sauce? If you need help defining it, then contact me.