Here are four secrets to a value proposition that only the best salespeople understand.
- Creating value that no other competitor can offer is the ultimate test of a business.
- Your value proposition is how you articulate to prospective customers how your business is different from all the other options on the market.
- A good value proposition is insightful and self-aware, and clearly communicates the mission statement of the business in a clean and concise manner.
To stop losing sales, you must win the buying process. The best value will always win. Your value is determined by the customer. It is your job as a salesperson to help them understand the value that they might not be able to see, especially if price is the major factor.
A value proposition summarizes why a customer should use your product and defines the value they will receive. It is typically short and generic. These statements can be powerful and impactful in the early stages of the buying process. The value proposition doesn't actually add value; it might show the possibility but doesn't add anything.
According to Tony Hughes of RSVP Selling, "Your value proposition must therefore be focused on specific and tangible benefits for the customer, and directly linked to the resolution of their specific problems or opportunities – the bigger the better."
A value offer, on the other hand, is specific; it is account-based and tailored to each buyer. The value offer is used in the middle of the buying process. Instead of being a sentence or paragraph, it can be multiple pages long if presented in a compelling manner. The value offer is a well-thought-out deliverable that adds immediate value to the buyer.
According to Corporate Visions, "74% of buyers chose the company that was the first to add value" in a study. To be the first one to add value, you must first have the needed conversations. Therefore, you must reach out to people. Call them, find them online, go to conferences – just find a way to connect.
Once you have the connections and conversations, you must then have the knowledge and process to give them something no one else can. Much of that will be in your value offer.
There are four main things you must do to make a great value offer.
1. Always prove value.
It's basically pointless to say that you are better than someone else, or your product is better. Let other people say it in testimonials. The more proof you show, the better. You can also use case studies, articles and third-party reviews.
How do you know what to prove? You ask your audience what is most important them. Then dig deeper. Then ask other people. Then ask your successful clients what helped them the most. Combine the findings, and you might then know what is important.
If you actually can add value, it should be fairly easy to prove it, since about half of all buyers feel that a majority of their providers do not add value, according to Gartner.
2. Provide deep insights.
You already know the pain the prospect feels. So does everyone else. Now tell them why they feel it and how to solve it. If you can clearly articulate your prospect's pain point and why they have it, you can provide a way to solve it that has not been tried or successful before. You can separate your value from everyone else's.
In addition to solving the known pain point, you need to be able to help customers see hidden pitfalls – future problems that they can avoid if they address them now. This is where the insights become deeper. Show them a problem they did not know was out there. Then solve it.
3. Create true urgency.
Value is created when a need meets a deadline. When adding value, you have to make sure that your solution is actually valuable to the client. For example, as a B2B business, you'd do this by mentioning and using factors that need to be solved because they impact your client's bottom line and will give them a competitive edge.
4. Show them the way.
Showing how your product is different (and better) than a competitor's product is a foundational step to showing value. Yet, the true value is added when you can then teach and explain how the execution will work.
Everyone focuses on the end result, but most people are scared because they are unsure of the process. Once they can connect you and your product with the actionable plan and road map to success, they will use you.
To bring it all together, you can put the four elements above into a video, a nicely designed brochure or even on a landing site specific to the customer. Give them the information in the way they want to receive it. Buyers control the process, but you have the chance to provide them more value than anyone else does. You can reach out to them first. You can initiate the conversation. You can show them your value. You can give them value. As a salesperson, your only real job is to add value and help others. You have the power to do that. You should do that. Creating a true value offer is one way to do it.
Examples of great value propositions
HubSpot is a marketing platform for entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses online. Its slogan – "there's a better way to grow" – is an example of a great value proposition. It speaks directly to the pain point of a business owner who may be casually searching for products to help grow their company. It articulates HubSpot's competitive advantage without being pushy or making bold proclamations. The comany offers a host of services that many of its competitors do not, and it articulates that value in a subtle yet enticing way. The slogan leads you in to explore what that better way is.
Apple is well known for its marketing triumphs and ability to articulate value to customers, with famous slogans like "think differently" and "the experience is the product." Apple is a lifestyle brand as much as it is a technology company, and its ability to wed those two worlds is what has made it such a phenomenal success. Its value proposition is that its product opens the user up to a whole new world and allows them to participate in a new and exciting culture. It's an innovative way to imagine a computer company, and it's a large part of what has brought Apple so much success.