Value – The Measurement That Scales

By Bob Burg

In a free-market based economy, where people willingly choose who they will do business with, money is simply an echo of the value you’ve provided.

In other words, the money you receive is a direct and natural result of the value you’ve given the other person. After all, why should anyone willingly exchange their money (or time, opportunity cost, etc.) unless they feel they are receiving value greater than the money they are exchanging it for?

The key is to focus on the giving of value…and allow the receiving. Remember, not only must we breathe out, we must also breathe in. So long as the value you’ve given is of greater use to them than that which they’ve exchanged it for, you’ve earned the right to receive.

As part of a Facebook conversation with entrepreneur, Duane, he asked:

“I’ve been thinking about this for a while, as well. In order to aid ‘focus’ which ‘Metric’ would you use to measure Value Delivered? Income Statements and Balance sheets measure only echoes’.”

I responded: Duane, thank you for your question. Value is ALWAYS in the eyes of the beholder and is measured by THEM. When THEY see “it” being of value, that’s when the echoes begin to form.

The Key Understanding

This is why it’s so important for you to first understand the customer’s needs, wants and desires in such a way that you can connect the benefits of your product or service with what THEY feel is of value. Only when you do that can you realistically expect them to decide to do business with you.

Duane replied:

“Agreed. And they “vote” with their wallets. Thus the “Metric” or “KPI” (Key Performance Indicator) I was looking for to determine if we the company is delivering value can be measured by the Metric “REVENUE”. So when we as a company ask ourselves…”Did we Deliver Value today?” we can look at our Daily Revenue number to determine how much.”

I appreciate how he phrased that. One important point, however, is that the value provided and the resulting monies don’t necessarily occur on the same day. So, there can be a lapse in that regard.

Which is why, whenever I’m asked for examples of companies (as well as the individual salespeople) that are able to consistently shine in this context my answer is always to simply look at any company (or salesperson) that has a record of sustained profitability.

The reason is that, assuming they are operating in a truly free-market economy — without benefiting from cronyism or corporatism — the only way they can sustain profitability is by providing exceptional value to many people on an ongoing, consistent basis.

And, yes, that value is judged by the consumers and only by the consumers.

And, as Duane so eloquently put it, they vote with their wallets.


The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann is now available in an expanded edition. It includes a Discussion Guide, Author Q & A and a Foreword by Arianna Huffington. You can receive Chapter One by visiting

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