Influencing Skills: Do you know your value?

That expression ‘talk is cheap’ is a common one. The idea that words mean less than actions was the intention of this expression but in actual fact, talk can be expensive, it can be valuable, it can be discounted and it can also be cheap.

It depends on the words you use and the value you attach to yourself, your subject and the value you attach to what you do, as you talk about it.

It’s one of the big dilemmas people face when asking for a salary raise, offering their services, going for a promotion, preparing for an interview or client meeting. Understand and own their value and then expressing it in a way which engages the other person. Less about what you want to say and more about what they need to hear.

That word value: ‘the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance or preciousness of something.’

How do you describe the importance or preciousness of what you do when you’re discussing your role or what you actually offer in your business?

Do you talk about your day-to-day actions for example, how many people you contact, how many calls you make, how many emails you send? Or do you talk about the difference you make, the importance or preciousness of what you do and – crucially – what ‘what you do’ does? That’s where the magic is. That’s where the value is. It’s not about what you do – the value is found in the outcome, the result of what you do.

OK, so here are a few quick and dirty examples of the difference between what you do and what it does – it’s easy to spot where the true value is:

  • Do you “manage a team of 30 people in an energy company” or do you “lead a team of 30 people who save £/$ millions in wasted energy for our customers”?
  • Do you “make hundreds of calls a week trying to attract new customers” or do you “save our company £/$ thousands in marketing by speaking to potential customers and making sure they’re a fit for our business”?
  • Do you “make sure all our clients get updated information about what we do” or do you “build relationships with our clients which mean they keep doing business with us”?
  • Do you “own a consultancy business servicing the insurance industry” or do you “save the insurance industry £/$ hundreds of thousands by taking on their risk servicing needs”?
  • Do you “do all the admin needs of busy entrepreneurs” or do you “enable busy entrepreneurs to focus on the business of their businesses whilst I cover all their day-to-day admin needs”?

And, it’s the difference that makes the difference if you’re promoting yourself, your business, your work – it’s about the value or worth attached to what you actually do.

So let’s make sure we talk about it – you know you’re valuable and have value to add – well, talk truly is valuable too.

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Article reproduced with permission of Kay White, Savvy & Influential Communication Expert and Mentor at

Kay shows experienced – and often frustrated – professionals how to be heard and understood in their day-to-day interactions by using subtle, influential phrases and words to make people sit up, listen to you and then take action. Kay’s free eBook Power Up; Speak Up; Be Heard, already been downloaded over 4,000 times, and is full of similar tips and use-straight-away tools. Download your copy here:

About the Author

Hi, I'm Tom Burkinshaw, I co-produce the Maximise Your Potential Podcast and Website and my goal is to help as many people as possible be successful in life, careers and business, by offering free coaching and mentoring through a series of unique interviews from inspiring people who all display exceptional self-belief, mental toughness and desire to achieve. Thank you for taking the time to visit Maximise Your Potential!