Huh? Okay, so what I’m talking about here is the practice of looking beyond what you see at face-value – taking a deeper look at how your service providers and suppliers operate in order to make sure you get that much more value out of the products and services you’re getting from them. It isn’t even a matter of approaching it in a sneaky sort of way, but rather just applying the X-ray vision we all have in scrutinising the various networks which come together to ultimately bring you the product and/or service you’re buying.
If anything, the producers of those goods you buy along with the service providers you patronise openly encourage this sort of approach to interacting with them as a customer, mostly because it makes their lives that much easier.
Okay, so to put this all in English – if you buy a certain product or service from a certain retailer, producer or service provider, taking a closer look at the various structures around that end-supplier will have you in for a whole lot more value than what you’re currently getting. After all, that is indeed what we’re paying for whenever we buy a certain product or service – we’re paying for the value proposition offered by that seller or service provider.
When you go to the gym for example, the value you’re paying for likely takes the form of the convenience that health and fitness facility offers. I mean you could very well have bought all the equipment yourself and set up home gym in your garage or something like that, yet you choose to drive to your nearest health and fitness facility because of some specific value it offers you over the home-gym alternative. Perhaps you don’t even drive to your nearest health and fitness facility, but rather drive to one which the value offered makes it worth the extra driving time.
Sticking with the health-and-fitness facility example, applying that network-X-ray I’m talking about would simply mean you’d have to scrutinise the likes of your facility’s suppliers, their distributors, maybe, their marketing channels and even some of their other clients. Doing this will have you in for some extended value in that you get to uncover an extensive network of interlinked collaborators making up the network which comes together to deliver to you the end-value.
Sometimes even asking the entity involved about the trading network they deal with trumps trying to figure it out yourself, for example a health-and-fitness facility will likely be in contact with some very competent legal practitioners, so if your local gym refers you to the likes of Groth & Associates as a legal firm whose services you could use, that takes nothing away from the gym’s own services and subsequent profits, but what it does do is extend the value which they enjoy as part of their network to you as their customer.
Make a habit of trying to figure these connections and links out and your application of a network-X-ray in this way will have you enjoying better all-round value from every buying decision you’ll be making in future.