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  • nigelcharig

How do you really assign value to anything?

I play golf regularly. I’m not particularly good at it, but I like it a lot. I have a selection of golf balls in my bag, ranging from relatively new good-quality ones to a few scuffed-up old practice balls. Logically, the newer ones are worth more than their well-worn ‘colleagues’.

Until I get to the third hole, that is; it has a large pond between the tee and the green and I’m highly likely to hit the ball straight into it (I probably wouldn’t miss hit if the pond wasn’t there, but it IS there….).

Accordingly, I search through my bag hopefully looking for one of the old balls rather than risking a new one. At that moment, the old ball has become the most valuable, simply because it’s the least valuable!

I’m not quite sure of what conclusion to draw from this apparent conundrum, except perhaps for this: No matter how much time, effort, and materials went into generating a product or service, its true value to the customer depends entirely on how well it solves the problem confronting them at that particular time.

This has a couple of major implications for modern, successful sales negotiations.

It’s about the leads: Back in the early to mid-1900s, when salespeople were becoming part of the business landscape, they only had landline phones and cars as sales tools. Leads were hard to come by, and a sales visit could involve a morning’s round trip to a remote farmhouse.  Faced with such a scarcity of prospects, it’s hardly surprising that some salespeople resorted to coercive tactics, trying to force the prospects in front of them into buying products irrespective of whether they were the right fit. It gave the profession a bad name.

Today of course, there’s no need for such behaviour – and it wouldn’t work now anyway. You can use social media and a host of online tools to help identify prospects that could reasonably be expected to have an interest in your products. And if you engage with enough of them, some of them will fulfil that expectation! Then, you won’t need to sell to them, they will buy from you.

It’s about timing, too: Remember, my interest in the scruffy golf ball only arises when I’m faced with a pond in front of the green. Similarly, a prospect, even if they like your product, will only be interested sometimes – when their piece of capital equipment needs replacing, or their incumbent consumables supplier lets them down.

So it becomes essential to keep up a consistent (and persistent) marketing campaign, not only to build awareness and credibility, but also to increase the chances of catching a prospect at the moment they have a need.


Content marketing

As a content writer and copywriter, I do not become directly involved with sales campaigns, but I can contribute to their success. I provide material for content marketing campaigns which are effective in generating leads, raising brand awareness, and engaging and retaining customers, among other things.

As the Content Marketing Institute[i] puts it, ‘Traditional advertising shouts at customers, while content marketing talks with them. Essentially, it’s about the creation and participation in meaningful conversations and development of relationships. Content marketing can benefit your company by increasing sales leads and positioning your company/brand as a thought leader, in addition to increasing the number of visitors to your website.’

Contact me on or +44 (0)20 8933 0917 to discuss how I can make content marketing work for you.

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