By Nancy Marshall, The PR Maven®

PR People

In the world of public relations, salespeople are a dime a dozen. You don’t need to look far to find PR “experts” selling you on news coverage or new Google SEO results. Some are truly experts while others are just looking for a quick buck.

As such, it can be difficult for the true experts to stand out. Potential clients and customers are inundated with sales pitches, so they become desensitized over time. It’s natural: Being sold gets old. When cold emails are literally everywhere, they tend to seem fishy and annoying. It becomes easier and easier to hit “delete” or report them as spam—even when they’re not.

But the best PR people shouldn’t complain. Business is never easy—there are always obstacles, including all of the other fish in the sea. Don’t be a minnow by adding little to no value. Don’t be a commodity. Separate yourself from the pack by adding real, measurable value for your clients and customers so they’re actually satisfied. You need to become more valuable than your competitors could ever dream of being. Get results.

Think of the difference between getting a cup of coffee at your corner gas station and the latest Starbucks dark roast. You may pay three times more at Starbucks, but that’s because Starbucks provides you with a unique experience. They give you more customizable choices, and their products just plain taste better. CEO Howard Schultz and other Starbucks leaders have thought of every single aspect of their customer experience so you feel like it’s designed just for you.

To quote Schultz: “Success is not sustainable if it is defined by how big you become or by growth for growth’s sake. Success is very shallow if it doesn’t have emotional meaning.” Emotional meaning. Schultz and his entire company make people feel proud of and passionate about the Starbucks experience, turning them into brand ambassadors for others and making them come back for more cups—over and over again. Starbucks adds true value to people’s lives, hence its impressive market capitalization.

In many ways, Starbucks understands its ideal clientele better than other companies. From the CEO to local baristas, Starbucks employees are laser-focused on delivering goods that improve our daily lives in tangible ways. They deliver consistently, too. Do you do that with your products or services? Have you thought about how you can solve your clientele’s most serious problems—the ones that keep them up at night?

Be the hero that helps other people with their problems. Position yourself as the person swooping in to save the day and tailor your deliverables accordingly. Those deliverables shouldn’t be difficult to understand or appreciate. It should be easy to figure out how they can save the day. That is the ultimate value of delivering in the first place.

In Starbucks’ case, their coffee provides consumers with a boost or a pause during hectic days. That alone is infinitely more valuable than the $4 spent on a latte or the time it takes to download the Starbucks app.

Apply Starbucks to your own business experiences. Perhaps you help feature your clients in national publications. Perhaps your clients come to you for the op-ed placements or social media advertisements that boost their business. Maybe your customers need you to run Google ads that help them hire new people over time. Whatever the case may be, your clients and customers need to know that you are responsible for delivering results that others can’t. Promising is important, but delivering is the lifeblood of PR.

Don’t forget: Measurement is key. From earned to paid media, track the important metrics so that your clientele has an idea of the “before and after” picture—before you got involved and after. Demonstrate how your deliverables are synonymous with growth and the potential for even more growth. Quantify your value-add in monetary terms, not just business jargon.

Never leave your clientele wondering. When asked about your value-add, you want them to say, “That’s my hero!”

This article originally appeared on the Forbes Agency Council CommunityVoice in May 2022.