An interview on the Make It Right podcast

I was recently interviewed on the Make It Right podcast – a show where “manufacturing industry experts discuss the advancements, challenges, solutions and opportunities in this highly technical industry.”

In the episode, titled “Free Gets No Respect – How to Stop Giving Away Your Expertise,” I broke down a two-part article I recently published on the topic.

You can listen to it below or find it here on Apple Podcasts.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • I’ve learned from many conversations with manufacturers over the years that they tend to give away a lot of engineering time from their best people for free – just to win the job.
  • But maybe it doesn’t have to be this way. My recommendation is to take the first 1-5% of your customer’s budget and do a paid diagnostic.
  • This diagnostic could take on a variety of forms – a paid consulting engagement, a site audit, a second opinion service, a research report, a product sample or a custom prototype. (See our article “7 ways to generate revenue on the path to the big sale” for more ideas).
  • I recommend creating what I call a “spectrum of value creation” for your customers – a natural progression in the relationship – where more value is delivered as you move from left to right (see the graphic below). And simultaneously, more commitment from the customer is required in exchange.
  • Implementing a spectrum like this carries a number of benefits: 1) The sale starts before your first conversation with the prospect as they consume your content online. 2) Your prospect now has skin in the game because they’ve made (a small) financial investment. 3) Your team can give it your all since you’re now being compensated for your best people’s time. 4) Your customer becomes more bought in – not wanting to backtrack and start over with another company once you’ve begun earning their trust. 5) You’re no longer seen as “just another vendor.”
  • It’s very possible that your customers already want to buy some type of introductory service from you (as oppose to going all in or getting half-hearted unpaid consulting from you). Maybe you’re just not offering it to them yet.

Here’s the spectrum of value creation mentioned above:

spectrum of value creation