How to Increase Your Work’s Value, Without Much Effort

by Mark Levy

One morning awhile back, I awoke early and wanted to know the time, so I reached for my iPhone. Inadvertently, I hit the button for Siri, which triggered the message: “What can I help you with?”

Now, up to that point, I had rarely used Siri. Frankly, I’d forgotten she was part of my phone, so out of mild surprise, I didn’t respond. Siri, though, offered encouragement, filling my phone’s screen with sample questions I might ask, such as:

“What’s the NASDAQ today?”
“How’s the weather this week?”
“What are the best pizza stores nearby?”

It was only five in the morning, but that query about pizza stores caught my eye. When I asked it of Siri, she gave me a list of fifteen local pizza shops – several of which were new to me.

Frank's Pizzeria

This was turning out to be a good day. I hadn’t had my first cup of coffee, but I already knew there’d be pizza for lunch.

From a business standpoint, I thought about what occurred.

Apple knew I’d already owned their product – an iPhone – but they wanted to be sure I knew about all its functionality, so I could get the most out of it.

After all, if there were ways their product could improve my life, but I didn’t know about them or didn’t remember I owned them, it would be a loss for me and for Apple.

For me, the loss would be in personal effectiveness. For Apple, the loss would be in poor word of mouth. (Me: “I heard the iPhone could do so much. I don’t get it. Seems pretty limited.”)

What Apple did, then, was to remind me of functionality I had paid for, but wasn’t using.

The sample questions Siri asked served both as a prompt (Remember, you own Siri) and an enticement (Here are just a few of the cool things Siri can help you with).

More recently, I received a similar reminder about paid-for-yet-unused value from a different source: Amazon.

For years I’ve been an Amazon Prime member, because the service ships books for free. To me, “Prime” equaled “free shipping” — and nothing else.

Then Amazon sent a noteworthy email. In it, the company reminded me that as a Prime member I can also stream thousands of movies at no extra cost. Yet I hadn’t watched a single movie.

I owned a membership, but I wasn’t using that membership to its fullest. Amazon wanted me to claim what was mine. They wanted me to get all I had paid for.

Do you see how important this concept can be for you and your business?

Your clients may adore your work, but they’re likely not wringing as much value from it as they could, because they’ve forgotten (or never knew) all it can do for them.

Your job is to remind them.

Remind clients about the products and services they’ve bought from you, and give them tips on features they may not remember they own, or alternate uses that increase your work’s value in their eyes.

Remember, you’re not trying to upsell them. You’re trying to help them derive greater benefit from what they already own. They’ll love you for that.

I’ll be writing more about this strategy in future posts. But for now, consider ways of making it work for you.

  • What would you be reminding clients about?
  • What kinds of additional value might they gain?​
  • How might you do your reminding?

By the way, if you’re a consultant or coach who equips clients with tools, matrixes, and other forms of conceptual heuristics, make sure you remind people about deriving greater value from those, too.

Whatever you try, I’d be excited to hear about it.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Fowler

Loved this post, Mark, for two reasons. I had EXACTLY the same two experiences you did with Siri and Amazon. The Amazon flyer is sitting next to my iPad to remind me to investigate. But, the second reason I enjoyed the post is also why I value you so much. I never related those experiences to my own business. Thanks for the wake up call!

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Nick Corcodilos

Mark, I’m already making a list of features I’m sure my audience has forgotten or doesn’t know about! What a great reminder. As is often the case, you’ve nailed the obvious in a way no one else does. You’re totally right: This is a great way to boost my work’s value easily. Thanks!

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Bill Ringle

Excellent points, Mark. All too often company leaders focus on new business acquisition rather than on helping their existing customers and clients get the greatest possible value and return as part of the existing business relationship. The Amazon and Apple examples are great illustrations of successful companies that focus on their customers that build the loyalty and commitment that competitors (and often emulators) take for granted.

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