Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business
Checklist for building a compelling value proposition
It's crucial to establish the value your solutions will provide to customers. This may be the number one rule of marketing. Without it, almost all opportunities to sell your product or service are lost.
In marketing and selling we use variations of this all the time -- value proposition, value added, value statement, promise of value, delivered value, sustainable value creation, and more.
Yet, the definition of value and its everyday use seems to stump even great businesses.
Many people say that it’s really about the perception of value received. But, this is where the trouble begins. Many times what a company perceives as its offering’s value is very different from what the target audience actually perceives.
Wallace D. Wattles, a success writer pioneer, liked to define it this way; “Give every person more in use value than you take from them in cash value. Then you are adding to the life of the world with every business transaction.”
Simple and to the point. Eureka!
Still, not much more than a general principle. To create a value proposition that truly offers you differentiation and a way to rise above the competition, you’ve got to walk the talk. It’s critical for you success.
Value is perceived in lots of ways. One thing is for sure -- it’s all in the mind of your buyer, as in:
“What’s in it for me?”
“Is this the best fit for us?”
“Can I picture myself using this with enthusiasm?”
It's all about how your prospective customers view their world and what's important to them. Here’s a checklist for building a compelling value proposition.
Belief of value starts with "easy." Initial and ongoing experiences will set the value bar in stone. Do you make it easy to do business with you? Not if you require visitors to your website navigate through four or five webpages to find help and then demand they fill out a lengthy contact form to get information. Or, calls are not returned promptly. Sales prevention occurs all too often -- don’t let this happen to you. Instead, simplify to sell more.
Identify obstacles, then create solutions for working past them. Value is more than a product or service. People make buying decisions based on emotions first and then justify it logically. Do you demonstrate that you know what your prospect is going through and point out issues they may not realize exist? Help solve problems and improve the buyer’s situation. Point out the real costs of not acting now and sticking with what they are doing today. Do that and your audience will recognize you offer something more than your product and its price. That’s true value.
Show how you improve lives or businesses in very clear terms. Get specific by describing how your value uniquely helps buyers to achieve their goals -- and more. Yes, results are usually the bottom line for most people. Yet, they’ll want to be comfortable knowing that you and your business offer added benefits. For instance, let them know before the sale is made how easy it is to get service or questions answered when the customer needs it. Show them the money by clearly laying out how they’ll save money or time, increase productivity, a burden is lifted off of them, or even the gain received from your offering.
The unspoken total cost will make or break value. Consider all of the hard and soft costs your customer might avoid by using your product or service -- support, training, extra batteries, additional personnel, insurance, space in the building, disruption to their business operations, financing, and so on. If there are other costs be up front about them. These may be hidden costs your competition glosses over. Explain how your value outweighs or avoids these. Consider offering additional items or services that customers need to complete your solution, perhaps by forming relationships with partners that complement your business.
Take risks off of the table. Peace of mind is a key factor in a purchase decision. Offer that by eliminating the risks, real or perceived, of doing business with your company. Share relevant reports, studies, and articles. Offer references, particular from others that have similar circumstances. Disclose the detailed timeline to full implementation. Lay out the delivery schedule. Offer an ironclad money back or full replacement guarantee. Above all, do everything possible to build trust.
Your customers expect value. Deliver it; otherwise you’ll lose to price.
Your prospects will buy from the company that they feel offers the maximum perceived value. How do your customers measure value? How do they perceive risks? This is where the rubber meets the road.
Ron Stein is President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com) and the author of the Rapid Impact Marketing & Selling Playbook. As a speaker, coach, and consultant he works with small business owners helping them to accelerate the path between their vision and the actions needed to reach, win, and keep customers. Ron is the creator of the FastPath to More Customers Now! 7-step marketing system based on more than twenty years as a successful business owner, corporate CEO, business development executive, and salesman. He is also a mentor at two nationally recognized business accelerators. Ron offers one-on-one and small group mentoring, conducts seminars, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com.