Monday, February 2, 2009

Running Low on Value Currency

A few days ago I was exchanging e-mails with a TVCNet member and I said something that stuck with me over the course of this past weekend. People’s “value currency” is running low. Not said, but worthy of mention, I can also add that people’s “trust currency” is running low too.

In troubled economic times, like the one we are currently in, people are going to be very mindful on who, what, where, when and how they spend their disposable income. Their spending decisions weigh more heavily on the side of value. If they part with their money, can they trust the other party that they have their best interest at heart? The same holds true for companies trying to make it through this downturn in the economy. Many have to make tough decisions just so they can continue to stay in business. I know some consultants, despite having excellent working relationships with their clients, being turned down for additional contracts and work simply because the client must focus their resources elsewhere just to stay afloat.

So, where does this leave us – the consultant’s of the Treasure Valley? I’m not here to spread doom and gloom. I’m here to be realistic, yet optimistic. While it will be difficult for us this year and possibly into next, I’m here to say that all is not lost if you focus on the value of what you provide and build relationships based on trust with your clients and your colleagues. Over the years I learned one crucial rule of business:

People do business with others that they like, know and trust.

Add to that adage “value” – as in value what is being provided to them.

I believe that despite a down economy, we as consultants have a greater opportunity to redefine ourselves and strive to create better value in the services we provide. As we all know, there are good consultants and there are not-so-good consultants (trying to remain positive here, folks). The consultants who don’t create value will likely move out of the field thus reducing the “noise” that makes it difficult for clients to discern one consultant from the next. If you create value in your services and can communicate it clearly, you have a better chance of being successful in a down economy.

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