The value we can offer our clients can be divided into two parts.
The part above the ground is the visible part – this is our marketing – what we tell the world we do. This part is tailored to the context of our target audience. It is also our qualifications and work experience. What is said “above ground” is the fundamental qualifications we need to do what we do.
The hidden part is where the real differentiation lies.
One big part of this is our individuality – the combination of our personality, attitude, philosophy, ethics that determines what we are like to work with. Are we detail-oriented? Do we have high EQ? Are we flexible? Do we aim to serve? These can be hard to articulate “above ground.” And not just because it is akin to the ubiquitous “I have a sense of humour” claim in personals ads!
The hidden part is also the rich stew of all the complementary knowledge, skills and experience that can add such invaluable and often intangible level of quality/craftsmanship to our work. A group of people with exactly the same qualifications in he same field from the same university can be markedly different in terms of their ability to deliver a quality outcome. Everything we learn and experience influences the way we deliver value to our clients.
When someone has never worked with us before, it can be hard for them to get what our true hidden value is. They have to get their hands dirty, by working with us (and thus pulling up the plant?!) – to see that.
How can we effectively expose the hidden parts of our value delivery to our potential clients sooner?