If you have ever read a book on sales, attended a sales retreat, or performed an internet search on the best way to grow sales I am sure you have run across the term “add value.” What does “add value” even mean? It is a little ambiguous.

Clearly, the point of our products should be to add value to our customer’s life somehow, right? The term ‘adding value’ just seems so impersonal, so salesy.

Instead of adding value to your customer show them you care. I mean really care, like lose sleep because you care about them so much. Maybe not that bad but you get the point. Instead of adding value to them, show them how much you value their business and lives.

1) Offer Them Something…for Free

Make the vast majority of what you do about giving back to your customers. When you are on Facebook, don’t worry so much about posting some special ad that pushes your content onto your customer. In all honestly, social media makes it too easy to ignore you.

If all you are doing is pushing your product on your customer, they aren’t going to buy, they’ll just keep scrolling. They probably don’t even know they need your product yet.

Instead, share with them some valuable insight. Let’s say you are trying to sell a Paleo diet cookbook. You can post a shopping list on social media that your potential customers can take to the store.

You have taken the guesswork out and genuinely help your audience. Bonus: they bought the food, they need to know how to cook it now. (Your cookbook, wink wink.)

Just show your audience you really, really want to help them out.

2) Make ’em Laugh a Little

Let them get to know you. You are your brand; you are your company. You have to remember you aren’t Walmart. People aren’t coming to you, more than likely, because you are some large easily recognizable brand.

They are coming to you because you have something to offer. You are different, and they like it.

Show yourself off a little. I don’t mean to brag, but let people get to know you and your personality. If you can build a relationship with your customer, you know, cry with them, laugh with them, talk with them you have developed a lifelong customer.

Don’t be afraid to push emotions on social media and your website. Share how your struggles with weight, led you to develop this new weight loss program.

Show them how cycling gave you a new lease on life and why you believe it can also help your customer gain confidence. Just be real, don’t shy away from it.

Ahem, one little caveat: Don’t let your social media page and website look like the 50-year-old dad trying to dress like a teenager, be honest with who you are. 50-year-old dads are cool in their own right.

3) Be Unbelievably Genuine

Mom, Dad, and Fido are all pedaling product nowadays. The internet has made it easier and more accessible than ever to start a business. Everybody is vying for everyone else’s attention.

This may just be the thing that sets you apart from everyone else. Every move that you make, every time you press enter on the keyboard, is entered into cyberspace for eternity. Make sure it all comes from a heart of sincerity, not from an intention you may have to apologize for later.

Everyone remembers the Delta fiasco. If that happened to a smaller regional airline without the capital that Delta possesses, they might not have made it out alive.

You can’t afford to miss a step here. Be genuine and sincere, show some of your heart and invest.

4) Interact with them

One of the greatest issues I see companies making on social media is they don’t respond to their customers. When people are tagging, commenting on your post or sharing content, respond to them.

Don’t let any comment go unnoticed. If they share your content, go comment on the post and say thank you. If a question is asked, answer it. This shows your audience that you value interaction with customers.

How frustrating is it when you ask a friend about potential dinner plans, only to get crickets? They never respond, so you schedule with another friend. Finally, your friend calls and asks about doing something. Whoops too late, you’re already with someone else.

Imagine a customer asking an honest question, knowing you can answer only to be ignored. It’s a similar feeling. They were expecting interaction and help, only to be relegated to some cricket chirps.

Every chance you get, engage with your customers.

5) Be Upfront

Gary Vaynerchuk wrote a book entitled, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. The whole premise of the book is giving, giving, and giving to the customer. Offer them valuable insight, actionable items, and promotional items.

Build trust with them and give them every reason possible to purchase from you. Here is the kicker, Gary points out in his book, when many people are asking their customers to buy an item, they beat around the bush, and they lack direct initiative.

You have already given so much to your customers, ask them to buy from you. Make it undeniably clear what you want from them. Truthfully, they are either going to buy because you have learned so much from you already or they are going to scroll past your request.

They won’t unfollow you for this because they know you are invested in their relationship. When you are ready to sale, just go ahead and sale.

These are just a few ways you can show your customer how valuable they are to you. This is a long process but worth the wait. It requires consistency and patience. With the advent of social media advertising and google ad words getting page views and followers isn’t unbelievably difficult if you have at least some money to dedicate to it. What does it really matter though, if you get the followers but can’t convert or keep them?

The most amazing thing about investing in a relationship with your customer’s is this. No company on the face of the planet can be better than you at caring for your customer’s, unless you let them. They may have bigger marketing budgets, larger teams, and a much larger reach, but they don’t have your heart.

What do you do to make sure your customer’s know you truly care about them and want to better their life?