In the course of my work with all manner of professional service firms, I hear a very common lament. “We are becoming a commodity. The prospects just seem to buy on price. We are really good. How can I possibly separate myself from the crowd?”
My usual response is, “What can make you special? Why are you different?”
The client's usual response, “Well, we have great people (I hope so). We are customer-focused (that's nice). We provide valuable solutions to support our clients through industry focus and excellent methodologies that build off our 100 years of experience and on and on and on. Just let me tell a prospect about our services and he will surely want to work with us.”
The problem is that all these comments are from the service provider's perspective. At no time has anyone mentioned what problem the prospect is trying to solve or what goals he is trying to reach. Naturally, the prattling of the service provider falls on deaf ears. To paraphrase an old saying, “Value is in the ear of the beholder.”
So how do you develop a value proposition that offers value and, just as important, generates leads, meetings, and new clients?
Before we answer that question, let's define value proposition. A value proposition is a compelling, tangible statement of how a company or individual will benefit from using or engaging your services. No more, no less.
Five Tips to Communicating True Value
If value is in the ear of the beholder, then listen to your own words from the prospect's perspective and realize it's all about what they are buying, not what you are selling. The following guidelines will help you ease the transition into the prospect's world.
Once you have created a value proposition that resonates with your prospects and clients, you can now communicate this value in all your sales and marketing messages, including your:
By putting tangible value that speaks to your clients in your value proposition you will definitely stand out from the crowd. And, most likely, add more value to your own firm.
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