I was on the phone with Chris Mercer, the head of the respected business valuation firm Mercer Capital, discussing how he took his firm to national prominence. One of the keys was the impact of his series of books and and articles. His firm's success is a good example of the power of a well-conceived, well-executed, content-driven marketing strategy.

At some point, our conversation turned to the topic of promoting his most recent book on Buy-Sell agreements. (By the way, this is a must read for any CEO who is contemplating using one). He explained that he had begun using an offer that was really boosting book sales.

He directed me to a blog post on how it worked.

How it Works

In essence, the offer encourages book purchasers to buy three copies instead of one. It does this in two ways. The first is to suggest to the buyer the concept of buying additional copies to share. The second is to offer a discount when three or more copies are purchased.

Of course, there is nothing new about the concept of offering a discount on purchasing larger quantities of something. We are all familiar with the principle and likely use it in our pricing strategies already.

What may be different is suggesting a specific amount and a rationale as to why that makes sense for the purchaser.

If you are using a content strategy to promote your firm, you can put this approach to the test. Try it on any number of promotions. Offering a workshop? Why not suggest having three people attend as a team because that makes it easier to apply the new learning back at their company.

Many of us already have a way to share online content with others right on our website. But do we make the case for sharing that content with others? Do we recommend a specific quantity?

A Broader Perspective

There is another, larger point to be made. Compelling offers are not just for selling books or encouraging attendance at events. We should be examining our entire services offerings and how we package and price them.

Here I believe the lens should be, “How can I deliver the maximum benefit to my client at a fair price?” It is all too easy to give the client what they ask for and not think through how they might enjoy a greater return by purchasing a larger or more complete set of services.

I'm aware that some people might reduce this kind of a consideration to a “May I supersize that for you?” level. It should not be a mindless, routine attempt to get every client to buy more from you. That may not be in your client's interest.

On the other hand, a thoughtful review of how a client might benefit by increasing the scope of the engagementis quite different, particularly if it is followed by a specific recommendation and rationale. This kind of thinking can benefit both your client and your firm.

Thank you, Chris Mercer.