Communicating Value: A Deck Builder's Tale
In the past, we talked about the concept of delivering value first to our clients, customers, and donors.
I'd like to share a story with you, a story of value, but specifically how the value we deliver is (or isn't) perceived by those who engage with our brand:
[The following is a conversation between a custom deck builder and a homeowner.]
Craftsman: Given what you are looking for, I can build your deck for $4500.
Homeowner: That seems really high.
Craftsman: What do you think is a reasonable price for this job?
Homeowner: $2500 maximum
Craftsman: Ok, then I invite you to do it yourself.
Homeowner: I don't know how to.
Craftsman: Alright, then how about for $2500 and I'll teach you how to. So besides saving you $2000, you'll learn valuable skills that will benefit you in the future.
Homeowner: Sounds good! Let’s do it!
Craftsman: Great! To get started, you are going to need some tools. You will need a chop saw, table saw, cordless drill, bit set, router, skill saw, jig-saw, tool belt, hammer, etc..
Homeowner: But I don't have any of those tools and I can't justify buying all of these for one job.
Craftsman: Ok. Well then for an additional $300 I can rent my tools to you to use for this project.
Homeowner: Okay. That’s fair.
Craftsman: Great! We will start the project on Monday.
Homeowner: I work Monday through Friday. I’m only available on the weekends.
Craftsman: If you want to learn from me then you will need to work when I work. This project will take 3 days so you will need to take 3 days off work.
Homeowner: That means I’m going to have to sacrifice my pay for 3 days or use my vacation time!
Craftsman: That’s true. Remember, when you do a job yourself you need to account for unproductive factors.
Homeowner: What do you mean by that?
Craftsman: Doing a job completely from start to finish includes time spent to plan the project, pick up materials, travel time, gas, set up time, clean up, and waste disposal amongst other things. That’s all in addition to the actual project itself. And speaking of materials, that’s where we will start on Monday, so I need you to meet me at the lumberyard at 6:00am.
Homeowner: At 6am?! My workday doesn’t usually start until 8am!
Craftsman: Well then you’re in luck! My plan is to start on the deck build by 8am. But to do so we have to start at 6am to get materials picked up, loaded, and delivered to your job site.
Homeowner: You know, I’m realizing that a lot more goes into a job than what a customer sees in the finished project. Your proposal of $4500 is very reasonable. I would like you to handle the project.
Value is realized through explanation, transparency, actions, and results. But all too often we fail in communicating all that really goes into the work we do every single day.
How can you share more of what you are doing in a way that will be meaningful and further illustrate your value to clients, customers, and donors?