The Certain Way, Part 2

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Recently, I posted about the importance of being in business for yourself as an important component of what Wallace D Wattles refers to as The Certain Way in his best known work, The Science of Getting Rich (see

The central idea of the book is that being successful in business boils down to being successful in each individual business transaction and that this can be achieved by giving each person more in use value than you take in cash value. In other words, success is achieved by being the provider of whatever it is the other person values and by doing so in such a way that the other person feels they have received the better part of the deal.

Now there are two parts to this idea: being the provider of value and structuring the deal in the right way. Let’s take a look at both of these points in turn. Firstly, to provide value, we need to get into the customer’s mind. Why? Because value is inextricably linked with customer perception. It is no use offering some fantastic new feature, even if you are able to express all of the associated benefits, if your customer does not perceive what you are offering as valuable.

Recently, someone asked me how we can find out what our customers value; and it turns out to be an excellent question. You might think that you could just ask and, of course, you could – that is an excellent starting place for creating a winning product or service offering. But you also need to understand that you will only get part of the answer if you ask your customers. That’s because customers often don’t fully know their own minds.

There are actually three separate factors that customers use to make their buying decisions: they are known as basic, performance and excitement attributes. Customers tend to tell us about performance attributes which are what they want the product or service to do. What they neglect to tell us is what goes without saying i.e. what they fundamentally expect (basic attributes) and also anything that would wow them i.e. what they don’t expect (excitement attributes).

When you construct a product or service offering that does all three things i.e. that delivers what the customer perceives as valuable without cutting out or omitting any basic features and, in addition, includes things that delight the customer, then you have a winning solution. Now, let’s turn to the second part of the central idea: the structure of the deal. Put simply, you need to create an offer that is a no-brainer in your customer’s mind.

You want your prospect to think that they are getting one heck of a deal and that’s why they will be ready and willing to purchase from you. Notice, it’s the combination of these two things; not either one in isolation. You can offer a product at a fantastic price, but if your customer does not perceive it as valuable, then you will not make a sale. Similarly, you can offer a fantastic product, but if you do not price it well, again you will not sell it.

The essential idea is to give the customer more than you are receiving. Of course, you can’ t do that in cash-value, so you must do it in use-value. Always bear in mind that your prospect will constantly make comparisons; this is how reference value is created in the customer’s mind. The value of your product or service is that reference value, derived from comparison, plus some value assigned to the attributes of your product that the compared product does not possess. That’s why you need to build in those wow-factors.

Download your copy here: The Science of Getting Rich

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