Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Show me the Money

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Your response to the first scenario intrigues me -- do we really know what are the things that make us the most money when it's all said and done? Maybe people buy your services *because* you spend the extra time getting to know them. In that case it would be time well spent.

And here's the trick, how can you invite the buyer to learn about quality? After all, it may be subjective.

Time after time, I find that found wealth may not be the solution to all. And yes, there is more satisfaction in shared experience than in pure hoarding.

What great questions! I love that you make me really think.

Scenario 1: My husband and I own our own business and manage a team of home-based employees (we also work from home). He handles all the marketing and vendor relationships, I handle all the technology (website design, computer tech support for our team, etc). It keeps us very busy - on average we work 70-hour weeks, so my focus is always on those tasks that have a direct positive impact on our bottom line. If a tweak to one of our sites (and we have many) will improve our conversions and generate more sales, that's what I do. I work hard to not allow myself to get distracted with things that aren't necessary, because I can't afford the time (which is partly why my own personal blog is suffering from inattention :) ) As for our competitors, we routinely evaluate what our closest direct and indirect competitors are doing - we all offer the same product, so we want to be sure what WE are doing is in some way unique and better (better price, better service and follow-thru etc). But you are right that we, like many people, make the choices based on money - what is most profitable. If I had to whittle down all that I do to fewer tasks, I would abandon those that don't earn us money. Which means either hiring a housekeeper and cook or living with more mess and less home-cooked food than I do now :)

Scenario 2: This is hard to answer because I don't work on contract for anyone else, but if I did, then I agree with Carolyn Ann - you can't sell yourself too cheaply. It's human nature to want the best deal, lowest price, but if we don't value our time, expertise, and experience why should anyone else? It's important to make the buyer understand that they are not just buying a product, they are buying a *high quality* product. You can't get that at Target or Ikea, or by going with the cheapest web designer.

Scenaro 3: Oooh the toughest one always comes last, doesn't it? I have to take myself out of my home environment to answer this (I still remember what it was like working in the corporate milieu). There are only 3 reasons someone would *anonymously* leave an envelope of money on my desk (the *gift* option would not be anonymous): 1) By accident - they wandered into my office and not finding me wandered out, leaving their envelope behind; 2) By design - someone else found it and turned it in to me, not knowing what else to do; and 3) By design - someone is *testing* me. All of which leaves me morally and ethically obligated to find the rightful owner. I would hold on to the money and make every effort to find whomever it belongs to, for a reasonable length of time (a year perhaps?). After that I'd keep it, but most definitely if the owner ever turned up, I'd pay up.

If it were revealed to be a gift to me, then I'd go shopping. And probably spend a little bit to buy a "thank you" present for the gift-giver.

Carolyn Ann:

The books are usually of little help. I love to read and to learn; yet I do know that each situation is a new opportunity to test what my version of that knowledge is.

Funny, most of the people who found the money in Japan had that reaction. I would venture that most people in general would. We have a sense of what we've earned and what is fair by and large.

Yes, we think we know because we stopped looking. Every so often it's good to challenge and push a little further.

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  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on the impact of technology in business, culture, and human behavior. At Conversation Agent LLC, I help organizations and brands develop and communicate their full business / product value consistently.


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