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Why “Value-Added” Is No Longer Valuable

by Doug Davidoff | Jun 8, 2006 11:52:10 AM

I propose terminating a popular buzzword – “value added.” Why? Because if you have to say something is 'value added', then it probably isn't adding value at all. “Value” is a lot like “virtue”, and if you have to tell someone you have it, your credibility is already in question. Value is a “show-me,” not a “tell-me.”

What is “value added” anyway? It’s hype. The term is another poor remnant of the industrial age. It's symptomatic of an offering-oriented salesmanship. It's a seller's term.

Think about yourself for a moment. When someone solves a problem for you, is that “value-added” or is it just “valuable”? As I've written before value is binary. You either create value, or you extract it. When you understand this, there is no such thing as adding value.

There are two types of value perception- fundamental and total value. In both cases, a buyer is looking to solve a problem. They don't care whether you are 'adding value' or not. They only care about solving their problem. Personally, when someone talks to me about how they add value, my trust level goes down.

Let's stop using buzzwords and jargon when we have conversations with our clients. Build your offering to solve your client’s problem and let them determine if it’s valuable or not.