Why should prospects buy from you? Why do your current customers continue to buy from you?
These are important questions to explore if you want to create more sales opportunities and repetitive sales.
In this article, we’ll explore how to create more sales by focusing on one important exercise that is often neglected.
And thank you, Susan, from St. Louis, MO for your “Talk to Me” question from last weeks Sales Pearl Newsletter.
“…Christine can you address the best way to position my products to the customer…”
Here’s the answer: Your Value Proposition
This exercise is often overlooked and undervalued. When I talk about this in workshops, it’s amazing the salespeople that have no clue how to create a value proposition. So let’s go through the exercise together.
What is a Value Proposition?
Simply, the value you promise to deliver to your customers after they buy. If you learn to position this little gem correctly, it will ultimately lead your buyer to want to buy your product.
There are three components to a value proposition that must fascinate the buyer.
- Specific: What are the specific benefit or benefits your prospect will receive?
- Pain-Targeted: How exactly will your product or service fix the buyer’s issue or life?
- Exclusive: How is it highly sought after and exclusive? Does it shine a light on your competitive advantage and differentiate you from competitors?
Your specific value proposition is not about the features of your product, brand, slogans or taglines. Such as…
- Got Milk
- Just Do It
It is about how your product or service solves the prospects pain points or improves their lives.
Let’s Write Yours!
Get a piece of paper and pen, roll up your sleeves and let’s write your value proposition.
Your Customer’s Voice
What do your current customers say about you? Why did they originally buy from you over the other salespeople knocking down their door? What was different about you and your product?
If you honestly do not know how to answer these questions, call 5 of your best customers and ask them. You need to know! Because the best value propositions use the voice of the customer. Your customer’s voice brings power and credibility to you and your product.
If you were to do a case study on your top 5 customers (which you should) how would they describe your product? How did it solve their issues? Why do they associate with your brand or your company’s brand? How do they describe you and your company? Have they referred your product to other business colleagues?
Either interview your customers or send out a survey to ask the above questions. Then look over their answers and look for common phrases and words. I’ve harped over and over that words have meaning and are important. Your words play an important role in shaping their vision of you and your product. It’s how perspectives are changed.
Clarity is More Important than Clever
There’s nothing worse than a confusing, muddy message. This is a pet peeve of mine, especially with company names. When I see a company name, I want to know exactly the business of the company. What does Brothers and Sons Associates mean? (I just made that name up but you get the idea) or some of these crazy company names that are meant to be so 21st century techy and cute.
Always choose clarity over clever, even in branding.
Here are the questions your value proposition must answer:
- What product are you selling?
- Who should buy your product?
- How will buying your product improve or simplify the prospect’s life?
- Why should the prospect buy from you and not your competitors?
- When will the value be delivered?
Try to contain this in 2-3 sentences cutting out all unnecessary words. Make every word fascinating to your main selling point while paying attention to clarity.
Focus on a benefit, not on exaggeration.
Notice I said “a benefit” not all the benefits of your product. This “benefit” could change from prospect to prospect depending on their different needs and issues. Why muddy things up by throwing all the benefits at them, when only addressing what they need is more efficient and effective. They only care about what can help them. Giving them every little detail or fact is overkill.
Caution: Do not exaggerate…it’s is a credibility downer.
“We have the best rates in town!” (says everybody in town!)
“Our customer service is ranked the highest in the industry” (until next week when the competition claims that spot.)
When everybody makes the same claims..well there’s nothing special about being the best is there? All you become is another vanilla product on the market.
Focus on what makes your benefits distinctive or the substantial value your product delivers…without all the exaggeration.
Examples of Distinctive Value Propositions
Stripe: “Web and mobile payments, built for developers”
- Product: A set of tools that empower businesses to accept and manage online payments.
- Target market: Developers and business owners.
- Primary benefit: Simple and streamlined payments.
- What makes it unique? It shows Stripe’s emphasis on simplicity.
Uber: “Get there: Your day belongs to you”
- Product: Low-cost taxi service.
- Target market: People who need low-cost, on-demand transportation.
- Primary benefit: Eliminates the frustrations of travel.
- What makes it unique? The proposition focuses on the needs of the customer by using the word “you.”
Don’t Just Solve Problems for Today
Last, your customer may be wanting to solve the issues that are in front of him today but what about next month, or next year? Add value by addressing scalability. Do your solutions and value meet the future needs of the customer? Rarely does anyone want a solution that solves just today’s problem. The future is an important consideration for a buyer’s decision. ‘Will this still fit my needs in a year or two?’ or ‘Can this investment help me scale faster than I currently projected?’
Here’s my Value Proposition
“Experience around a 25-33% (Specific) increase in sales productivity by learning Sales Intelligence, (Pain-target) within the first 6 months of training and coaching. (Exclusive-Case Studies to back up the claim) And a 35% increase over the first 3 years of usage (Scalable).”
Now try writing your own and if you need help…well you know who to call!
And don’t just put off doing this exercise. It really is effective in helping the prospect know the value you bring and what sets you apart. But it also helps you gain clarity on what makes you distinctive.
If you have a value proposition already…ask if it needs to be updated or perhaps repositioned. It never hurts to consider other alternatives.
How Can I Help You?
Does this sound like you?
- You find yourself glancing around looking for answers because you’re in a sales slump and have no idea how to move forward.
- Often, you experience difficulty in finding the right words to use when speaking to a prospect.
- Your focus is challenged so you have difficulty completing tasks with weeks of unproductive selling.
The good news is, I can help.
Simply fill out the form below. In the message section ask to schedule a 30-minute complimentary Introductory call. We can fix this and other pressing issues you need help with!