I often recall the Dennis Miller classic when he referred to the two-for-one deal and ranted that two helpings of a bad deal is still a bad deal. We're often looking for a deal but some get upset if we spend too much time talking about ourselves or our offering. So we want to buy stuff but talking about what we sell is a bad thing?
Time is Not Free
On the social web, you can be shunned if you pitch your wares yet no one I know has a bank that takes Twitter followers in lieu of mortgage payments. Digital media is one way many can grow new relationships along interest silos void of geographic limitations. But that takes time and trust.
Experience is Not Free
I can only imagine the volume of requests some people get but I receive “could you give us your opinion” emails often. They just want me to have a quick look and let them know what I think. It won't take long. My offering is to help with leadership and business development so advice is part of what I do. You wouldn't call a plumber for an opinion on your leaky facet or a lawyer for feedback on a contract. And I'm sure you don't build your business by freely giving away your expertise.
Customers are Not Free
If a large international coffee chain had no customers in any of its thousands of stores around the world, it would be out of business fairly quickly. Zero revenue for a week or two and the largest retailer on earth would be closing stores in short order. If you gave away your offering, how long would your bottom line stay in the black?
Relationships are Not Free
If you're at a backyard barbecue, the conversations range from sports to the economy, the latest with the family to vacation plans. But eventually it gravitates to work, it always does. We spend far too much of our lives working for it not to be a significant part of our conversations. Yet what do we think of the guy handing out business cards?
You are Not Free
You can fill the pipeline with messages and some will bite. Or you can choose to build your human network which takes longer but the rewards are more lasting. This is true for colleagues, clients, leaders, prospects, customers, friends and partners.
Before we look at price, perhaps we need to establish value?
image: beyondcliches | original: may 2011