I work with many entrepreneurs and selling professionals. When I ask them what they do they immediately rush into their title. Each states, “I am the President of a Bank”, “I am a Consultant”, “and I am a Professional Speaker”. If I were a client and heard this I immediately state, “So What”?
Moreover, like you I have attended many networking functions with individuals using the proverbial elevator speech. With over 25 years in sales and marketing and operating four very successful businesses, elevator speeches are worthless. When was the last time you got stuck in an elevator and heard this meaningless monologue? What is needed is a pithy statement that can be repeated by you, your employees and your customers to help depict the value of your offerings. The best tool is a value proposition.
What is a value proposition? Simply put, a value proposition is a statement that promotes the business to clients using outcome and results. It is outcome based and focuses all attention on client outcomes not process, method or anything further.
Why have a value proposition? The proliferation of both the Internet and small business has created a conundrum of noise around clients. There is too much clutter. To avoid the clutter and provide differentiation that attracts clients requires the use of a succinct tool that can be heard, repeated and appreciated.
There are other reasons for writing a value proposition:
· Distinguishes you from the competition.
· Distinguishes you and the organization in distinctive markets.
· Provides a better source of lead generation.
· Enables selling professionals to expediently get in front of decision makers.
What methods can I use to develop one? This tool contains no more than 10 to 15 words featuring as many adjectives as possible. Value propositions have these characteristics:
• Focus on what the buyer gets, it is outcome based
• Results focused that uses colorful words to gain the attention
• General in that the statement can appeal to any industry dependent on need
Here is an example to develop a value proposition:
1. A poor value proposition: We help create a fit individual
2. A good value proposition: We have a 7-Step program for better abdominals
3. A great value proposition: We dramatically accelerate results that match your individual fitness desires
How can an organization or individual develop a value proposition? The concept for developing a statement is not difficult to achieve yet takes patience. It is vital to look at the organization from a customer or competitive view.
Questions to answer are:
1. “What does your organization do that from a benefit and results perspective stands head and shoulders above any competitive pressure”?
2. What results to clients achieve with you?
3. What is the organization extremely passionate for in meeting client’s needs?
4. What are your core values that provide results to clients?
Do not expect to obtain a statement overnight yet do not belabor it either. If you cannot gain the answers the best source is your clients! Testimonials and case studies are great examples of value. Take their statements and simply develop them into benefit-based sentences.
When you finally develop a statement you will notice several things. First, the difference between the proposition and the foppish elevator speech is significant. Second, the value proposition is outcome based and focuses on the client, not you. Third, the memory recall is faster and easier. Fourth, your employees and most importantly your customers can repeat it. Fifth, you receive calls and emails based on hearing your value proposition.
Competitive markets require a need for competitive tactics. Most importantly, traditional sales and marketing efforts are tiresome and inoperable. A value proposition provides magnetism to your firm. A cliché states, “What gets repeated, gets rewarded.” Ringing phones, repeat orders and new sales are terrific examples that provide lift and reward for a good outcome based statement.
About the Author:
Drew Stevens PhD, President of Stevens Consulting Group and renowned author, consultant and sales expert literally wrote the book on improving sales skills. Dr. Drew is the author of the best seller Split Second Selling and Ultimate Business Bible that have helped thousands of frustrated sales managers, selling professionals and entrepreneurs improve their skills and gain dramatic results.
©2009 Drew Stevens PhD All rights reserved.