Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Go-Giver's Law of Value

“Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”

Ok, this is a tough one right off the bat. It seems like the latest buzz in sales is to “control your client’s expectations.” If you control expectations, you can almost always over-deliver, right? Whoa. That’s a dangerous idea if it falls into the wrong hands.

If McDonalds lets you expect cold McNuggets, does that make serving rubbery re-heated ones OK?

For the people who “just get by,” this strategy is like telling them its OK to set the bar low and to deliver average performance. This Go-Giver law is really about giving, giving, giving…for the sheer pleasure of delivering a product or service that you’re passionate about.

When I first started selling Radio, I gave every client- large or small- [ok, they were all really small] white-glove service. I sold an un-rated oldies station that everyone else on the sales team seemingly ignored. But, I went at it with rookie-like enthusiasm. It just made sense to me. Yes, it was a small station. But, every single listener fit into a closely defined affluent, educated Baby-Boomer demographic with gobs of disposable income. I felt like I was helping my clients shoot fish in a barrel, whereas the bigger stations were casting nets in endless seas. I took pride in acting like a marketing director for each and every client—making everything completely turnkey for them.

Hand-written thank you notes- check. Personalized memos, talking points & FAQ’s for guest appearances- done. Multiple commercial drafts to choose from- every time. I did it because I didn’t know any better.

Yes, it took a lot of time and energy. But, over 6 years later, I count over 20 different reps in our office alone who started and subsequently quit every few months. Just showing up to do the job isn’t enough no matter where you are.

Every time you choose to give more than what’s expected, you’re not losing out or spending too much energy. You’re making a deposit in your own goodwill account. And that account has endless potential returns.


  1. Hi Leah - I like your attitude here! I worked for a very successful artist once (had his own silver business back in Africa, before I emigrated to Canada with my family), and he always stressed that the "Customer is King!" and, like you and your radio customers, his customer database proved his point too... Way to go!
    PS. If you're ever looking for a NEW opportunity, we're looking for people just like you at ;)

  2. Thanks, Anne!
    From the video on your site I can see you have a beautiful family.

  3. Hi Leah, thank you for your very kind article regarding John David Mann's and my book. It's an honor to know that you found it to be of value. Not to mention, you happen to be a terrific writer. And, I have a feeling, a true "Go-Giver" as well. :-) Best Regards - Bob

  4. The extra mile has never, not paid off for me. Keep at it.