Friday, March 19, 2010

The Value of Your Service

What if customers paid exactly what they thought the value was? Would your business prosper?

Have you ever given a tip to a street performer? Also known as buskers, street performers rely 100% on value to value transactions. They have barely two minutes to make an impression, and only get paid what people think they are worth. Sometimes that's a dollar, sometimes that's a dime, and usually "customers" keep on walking without paying anything at all.

Could your business survive using that model?

I've considered it as a model for my leadership training practice. Come to a workshop, or get some coaching and consulting and then pay me exactly what you think it was worth. What stops me? Not sure. Is it fear of the unknown monetary value? Is it fear that human nature might be to grab for the bargain (free!) and move on?

If a business demonstrates value that the customer is seeking and delivers on that promise, shouldn't people pay what is fair (or even more)?

What do you think?

Imagine a doctor who only got paid if the patient was happy with the service and treatment.

Imagine a restaurant where you not only tipped what the server was worth but also paid the restaurant what the service/decor/food/atmospher was worth.

Do we trust people enough to trust their judgment on what to pay?

In this bargain grabbing low economy world will people always underpay?

What do you think?

Are you willing to rely on the busker payment method for at least one of your goods or services? Why or why not?

-- Douglas Brent Smith

P.S. update: I keep thinking about this from time to time. What surfaces often is the inequity of how we as a society pay people. Many professionals prosper, but my friends in retail, food service, and early childhood education struggle with below-median wages and ever shrinking benefits. If we made that voluntary, would it decline even further?

Are people valuing the right things? Is the work provided by that cashier really less valuable to you than you already pay?

I still don't know the definitive answer, so I welcome your opinion. How do we value your service?

(22 September 2012)  

Friday, March 12, 2010

Finding Direction

It's showdown time. It's time to roll forward with a strategy and direction that gains traction, momentum and (dare I say it) revenue.

My years of leadership experience and leadership development time spent at major corporations has not yet paid off with a prosperous training organization. Events have conspired to stand in the way, but mostly what is needed is some "money where your mouth is" leadership. Let's get this party started!

What I do best: provide highly participative workshops to train managers and supervisors how to improve their results.

I had great successes at GE and at (gulp) AIG. I've had some continued contracting success as well. But my company has yet to penetrate the market with a convincing blast of development. The time is now.

Here's the focus for Front Range Leadership, LLC:

Three core workshops on -

As we (yes, there will be new members and partners in the company!) move forward I expect to use this blog to continue expanding our leadership insights AND to provide progress updates on our own growth.

Want to come along for the ride? Sign up to follow, follow our tweats at or just stop by every once in a while at Front Range Leadership and see how we're doing.

All feedback is welcome, and all insights into leadership (especially the three core topics listed above) will be appreciated, evaluated, and probably quoted. And you can quote me on that!

Douglas Brent Smith