As part of my professional development this year, I participated in the Association for Strategic Planning Conference in Dallas recently.

Adrian Ott spoke on time/value trade-offs (e.g. How much time will an opportunity take? Is it worth the time?) and how they determine how we “buy” things under four different considerations of impact on our time.

1. Time Savers – “convenience,” e.g. productivity or proximity
2. Time Magnets – “motivation,” e.g. peers or power
3. Time Minimized – “value,” e.g. price
4. Time on auto-pilot – “habit,” e.g. something important you want to “work” for you and not have to spend time on like your online bank account functions

As business people, our goal is to earn an increase in the amount of time our clients personally spend with us, read our content or watch our video for example. Let’s be clear. We’re talking about an increased share of the amount of time our clients already allocate to the activities we can help with. That means we have to take it away from someone or something else. Ideally, we capture more of this allocated time AND help the client achieve other things that don’t have anything to do with our business by applying the four considerations listed above. This increases our perceived value in the clients’ eyes and creates a “flywheel effect.”

Consider this:

45% of a person’s day is spent on habitual behaviors, e.g. breakfast meetings, professional development, strategizing, etc…

We can either change clients’ habitual behaviors (difficult) or find a way to help them improve their time/value trade-off of these behaviors with what we do for them (less difficult).

An example would be producing a Breakfast Forum for your clients that is in their city, attracts the right people, delivers best-in-class content on a strategic topic that produces an output and a concise professional development nugget that never disappoints.   

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