Jay is the owner of a massage therapy company. He's trying to figure out how to sell his services to the corporate market. Like many of you, he doesn't have a strong business case to capture a company's attention. That's why he recently asked me:
"I'm having trouble figuring out my value position for selling to bigger companies. When a company's challenges are rising cost from suppliers or trying to go ‘green’, it just doesn't cut it to tell them, ‘Hey I can reduce your stress during those stressful times.’ Any advice you can give is appreciated."
Here is my response:
"You're right Jay. For the most part, ‘reducing stress’ doesn't excite most corporate decision makers. You need to start thinking differently about the value of your services. What you're missing is the high cost of stress on an organization. It can lead to: higher medical costs, increased absenteeism, costly mistakes, disengaged employees, lower productivity, increased turnover and much more."
One of the biggest reasons businesses struggle in today’s market is because they have weak value propositions. Over and over again, I hear people who sell deliver ineffective statements about the value customers get from working with their organization. It doesn’t matter if these sellers are from big companies, small firms, or are independent professionals. They just aren’t saying things that get prospective buyers to say, “Come on in. We need to meet.”
And the worst thing is that many of the products or services these people sell have extremely high value to corporate accounts! But their failure to articulate it in words that appeal to corporate decision makers is their downfall. Instead, they limp along trying to drive sales but unable to even get in the door.
A strong value proposition is specific, often citing numbers or percentages. It may include a quick synopsis of your work with similar customers as a proof source and demonstration of your capability.
A value proposition is a clear statement of the tangible results a customer gets from using your products or services. Its outcome focused and stresses the business value of your offering.
Here is an example of a good value proposition:
“We help large companies reduce the cost of their employee benefits programs without impacting benefit levels. With the spiralling costs of health care today, this is a critical issue for most businesses. One of our recent clients, a large manufacturing company similar to yours, was struggling with how to reduce spending in this area. We saved them over $800,000 in just six months. Plus, they didn’t cut any services to their employees, nor did their employees have to pay more.”
Strong value propositions are your best tool for setting up meetings with prospective buyers. Corporate decision makers will nearly always meet with sellers who offer tangible outcomes and measurable results.
About the Author
Jill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales strategist. As author of two bestselling books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. She has also created a free online resource called the Value Proposition Tool Kit. For more information, Jill can be reached at email@example.com.