Articulating what your business offers
Does your business have a great value proposition, such that it gets potential investors, customers and partners all excited, and filled with confidence in your business?
A value proposition is a clear statement of the tangible results a customer gets from using your products or services. The more specific your value proposition is, the better.
Most people and companies have lousy value propositions. They’re weak – and I mean really weak. Often they’re simply a description of the offering’s features or capabilities. Or they’re filled with self-aggrandizing puffery.
Few examples of weak value propositions:
- It’s the most technologically advanced and robust system on the market.
- We improve communication and morale.
- We offer training classes in a wide variety of areas.
- My product was rated the best-in-class by leading authorities.
You’re probably saying, “So what?” That’s exactly what most customers think when you share a weak value proposition. They’ve heard lines like that a zillion times before and don’t believe you one little bit. Besides, you haven’t shared what’s in it for them – and that’s all customers care about.
With today’s tight economy and overburdened decision makers, you need to have a strong value proposition to break through the clutter and get their attention. That means you need a financially oriented value proposition that speaks to critical issues they’re facing. And, by including specific numbers or percentages you get the decision maker’s attention even faster.
Strong value propositions deliver tangible results like:
- Increased revenues
- Faster time to market
- Decreased costs
- Improved operational efficiency
- Increased market share
- Decreased employee turnover
- Improved customer retention levels
Documented success stories make you believable to prospective buyers.
So how does your value proposition look? Can you describe what you do in terms of tangible business results? Do you have documented success stories?
Or do you need to do some work to enhance your value proposition? If it’s not strong enough yet, don’t despair. Most people and companies have a much stronger one than they use. They just get caught up describing “what” they make or “how” they do things.
Here are several things you can do right now to enhance your value proposition:
Things to do right now to enhance your value proposition:
1. Brainstorm with Your Partners and colleagues
Review your marketing material and what you say to customers to try to get their attention. If you’re not talking tangible results, keep asking each other, “So what?”
- So what if it’s an efficient system?
- What if we have a replicable process?
- So what if it’s high quality?
By asking this question over and over again, you’ll get much closer to the real value you bring to customers.
If you’re doing this business alone, then do this exercise with your spouse, friend or business partner.
2. Talk to Your Customers
Your existing customers are your best resource to find out what value you bring. Tell your customer you need help understanding the real value of your offering and you’d like a chance to learn their perspective.
Most people are scared to ask their customers about this. It took me awhile before I was willing to risk this, but what I learned was a real eye-opener. Not only did it change my value proposition, but it also changed my offerings and self-perception.
Don’t let another day go by with a weak value proposition. A strong one literally opens the doors of major corporations for you, while a weak one keeps you on the outside.
Here’s a good video that helps you develop a great value proposition or USP for your business.