What is Value Proposition: The promise of value, which a customer can expect. Many companies struggle with the concept of value proposition and I’m not surprised. Like many concepts in business the phrase has become overused and as such misunderstood.
At B2B Sell we used the definition of value proposition to quickly and effectively communicate a company’s ‘promise of value, in a short snappy sentence. A sentence we can use to quickly communicate what a company delivers and take it out of the pigeon hole it’s been placed in; for example a ‘plain vanilla training company’.
There are 4 characteristics of a value proposition;
1. Needs to be Short
– Most organisations try to make it sound as complicated as possible. Not surprising; our society teaches us to respect the complicated and distrust the simplistic! For once, ‘size’ does matter. “On-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity on a twenty four hour basis as a measured service….” Is a bad start
2. Use Simple Language
– Assume the lowest common denominator. This is especially true in complex sales where you need to appeal to a broad range of people who have an influence on the decision.
3. Make it Specific
– In other words what’s in it for me. “Ensure you’ve always got IT resources at the lowest cost” sound so much better than “On-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity on a twenty four hour basis as a measured service….” If you’re in any doubt, sit down and interview your happy customers and ask them. “What’s in it for you?” A word to the wise here, you might find as many different answers as you do customers and that’s OK.
4. Reason to Believe
– A testimonial or third party rating can be helpful here. We can list customers such as a known name or an unknown name in the case of an SME but give the company name, CEOs name and say something like they’re very much like you.