“Men value things in three ways: as useful, as pleasant or sources of pleasure, and as excellent, or as intrinsically admirable or honorable.” – Mortimer Adler, Born Dec. 28, 1902.
Let’s make today about practicality. We write to sell things. That’s our goal. Our duty.
And to do that, we have to make people see the VALUE in the offers we make. They need to BELIEVE it is WORTH the money we are asking, and that the item is worth acquiring in the first place.
A lot of the learned and acquired skill of this profession is in knowing the tricks to do exactly that – increase perceived value. But you know I like elegance, and simplicity, so let’s just focus on Morty’s trio…
Three ways to increase perceived value in your offer.
1. It must be seen to be USEFUL. It has to do something for the buyer. Either because it’s a tool that helps accomplish a goal, or because simply owning it creates an identity of some kind beyond the mere object itself. What does the item for sake DO that the owner would find USEFUL?
2. Why is it MORE PLEASANT to own than not? How does it deliver pleasure? Is it pleasing to unbox, to look at, to smell? Is it pleasing to use? Do you get pleasure from the things the item creates or achieves for you? How does it please others around you? How does it make others more pleased with you for having it?
3. How is it EXCELLENT, above and beyond other items of its type? Is it of a certain quality of manufacture? Is it more we’ll made? Is it bigger? Does it come with more of whatever it is? Is it created by someone notable? Is it endorsed by anyone who matters? Do other owners love it? Why do they love it MORE than anything else like it?
Answer some of these questions for your reader, before they think to formulate them, and you’ll be creating a belief – a perception – that your offer has value. Your product or service is therefore justifiably expensive.
Hell, just BEING expensive is a factor that dings all three of Morty’s must-have items.
But there you have it. A short but easy checklist to help you test your work. Do your offers convey as much value for the prospect as possible? If not, know you know how to change it. Increase it. Develop it. Refine it. And put it to work.
So did you find this post valuable?
<!—- lagniappe Here are a few ways you can explore and elucidate each of Mortimer’s three factors above and make it a little easier to implement. 1. USEFUL - does it solve a problem? Does it solve more than one? Is it simple to operate? Is it handy to have around? Will they use it once and be done forever, or will they keep it with them always? Does it have features that make it helpful beyond just the solution? Does it have benefits beyond direct application? 2. PLEASANT - what does it feel like to have their problem solved - relief, comfort, ease, bliss? Is it an attractive object? Is it elegant? Is it something they can show off to evoke the envy of inferiors and rivals? Is it something one can take pride in owning? Does it create the warm fuzzies in the tummy (lol)? 3. EXCELLENT - how is it unique? What does it contain that is not available in any competing alternative? How is that unique element a byproduct of experience, authority, knowledge, wisdom, etc.? What do the competing solutions lack that makes them lesser? What do you include that goes beyond the simple delivery of what is asked for? We could go on (and on) but I think this is a good short list of questions to ask yourself about what you’re pitching - hell, you can even apply this to any piece of content you’re posting or sharing to figure out if it is WORTH sharing - if it’s justified in existing. Include answers to these questions and it will be self-evident why it’s so worthwhile to consume. —->
1 thought on “Shortcut to Creating a Perception of Value in Absolutely Any Piece of Information”
Hello Colin. In the email associated with this post you mention some folks stated you’ve been too ‘meta’ lately. Not for me. For where I am on the journey of learning to write copy, I love knowing why the brain responds to specific ideas. And how to guide it along the way.
For me, words are the tangibles touching the intangibles in the brain. Sometimes I can feel ideas, but I can’t put words on them. Until I find out how. And that’s where your sharing has been a great help. I suppose folks further along don’t need it. I understand that. But it’s been an education, and enjoyable for me. Thank you for sharing your talent. My best. Jeremy