Graham McGregor: Using 'Added Value' in small business

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

I interviewed a fascinating marketing expert called Mal Emery for my Unfair Business Advantage Report. (Mal has bought and sold dozens of businesses and helps business owners to create massive increases in sales and profits.) You can see further details on Mal here.

Mal explained that a great way to increase sales for any business is to use added value. He told me how he did this with a coffee shop he owned many years ago.

When you bought a coffee Mal gave his clients a glass of iced soda water at no extra charge. Now of course the clients' reaction was 'I didn't order that, why am I getting that?' Mal trained his staff to tell the story:

'The free soda water is to cleanse your palate so every single time you take a sip of your coffee you get to taste that beautiful coffee again and again and again'. He also put a little chocolate on the side of the coffee cup and it was called Hasty Tasty and it had the name of the company, the coffee shop on the chocolate.

This was all added value.

What was the perceived value of this coffee? Well back in those days it was $1.50 to have a coffee and when you added the soda water and a chocolate it was worth to the customer about $3.50. (However it only cost Mal a few cents to provide this extra added value.)

Now someone paid Mal $1.50 and they got $3.50's worth of value. So who do you think they told? They told all their friends.

'You've got to come here, they give you a glass of iced soda water and a Hasty Tasty chocolate on the side' so his sales exploded. He went from zero sales to $10,000 a week in five months and was able to sell this business for $230,000 by applying the principle of added value.

Added Value is a good idea you can borrow and use anywhere. The reason it works so well is simple. Everyone still likes a bargain; everyone wants a cocktail story to tell their friends of a great discovery they've made if you like.

I bought a new car a few years ago. Three weeks after the purchase I received two free movie passes from the car dealer; along with a short note thanking me for my business. When I brought this car; I was regularly speaking to several hundred business people a month at live seminars. I told all these people about my delightful little added value bonus from this car firm. I also went back two years later and bought another car from the same firm.

The good news is that there are hundreds of simple things that any business can do to add amazing value to their customers and clients. Many of these things are low cost and even free and can create remarkable increases in your sales.

In our interview Mal went on to explain some fun ways that any business could implement added value. He also shared a great strategy to double the results from all the advertising you do without spending a single dollar more. (You can read my full interview with Mal in the Unfair Business Advantage Report.)

In the meantime, how could you use added value in your own business?

"Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends"
Walt Disney

* Graham McGregor is a marketing consultant and the creator of the 'Unfair Business Advantage Report.' (This is free and has now been read by business owners from 11 countries.)

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