Last week, I was invited to be a panelist to facilitate a discussion for print, marketing and business communications for industry peers. The panel was chartered with the task to engage the audience in a “workshop-like” dialog on how to create and explain your unique value proposition to your customers and your partners. I shared the following:
Simply defined, your value proposition is a business or marketing statement that summarizes why a consumer should buy a product or use a service. The ideal value proposition is concise and appeals to the customer's strongest decision-making drivers. As illustrated below, a value prop message MUST contain three fundamental components that correspond with your customer’s needs:
Here are a few other hints:
Value can only be determined by your customer.
Articulate why and how you are different.“The reason clients stay with my company….”
You cannot earn someone’s trust or create value for them unless they perceive you to be acting in their best interest.It’s not what you think; it’s what your customer thinks!
Present your value in accordance with the person you are meeting with.The value you bring to a CEO is very different than the value you provide to a Sourcing Manager.
A value statement is dynamic and evolving.“Progressive improvement…is better than postponed perfection!”
Keep this in mind when you are sharing your company story with a prospect or client:
“What the business thinks it produces is not of first importance…What the client thinks he is buying, what she considers “value,” is decisive…And what the client buys and considers value is never a product. It is always utility, that is what a product or service does for him.” – Peter Drucker
Here’s a quick story to help demonstrate real value and your “net worth” to a customer.
Ellen, a sales representative for Smith Graphics, was preparing for a sales meeting with her customer, a large national insurance company. The company had grown through acquisition and was planning to launch a line of business in a newly acquired geography. While Ellen had participated in previous marketing communication projects, this was her first introduction to the newly acquired marketing team. “Smith Graphics has been providing our services to Early Insurance for the past eight years. Since this is our first meeting, I would like to begin by sharing the components, findings and Early Insurance market penetration and growth results from a previous campaign.”
Ellen went on and presented marketing metrics, historical data points, cost-savings design and product applications, implementation and tracking methods. Her opening statement clearly articulated the value she and her company brought to Early’s campaigns by demonstrating:
what she had to offer
what it meant to her customer
proof (data) to support the value of the relationship
Ellen concluded her presentation and received several compliments for her complete and focused discussion. The Team Lead stated, “I have not seen this quality and depth from our current graphics provider or print sales representative. It’s clear to see why you have been a partner for as long as you have and I feel very confident that you and Smith Graphics will be a great addition to our team, as we integrate into Early Insurance”.
This is just one of the stories about delivering value to your customer. Through our years of practical, hands-on experience, Butler Street Consulting’s TalentFirst A.R.D.® programs can elevate your sales teams to this level of professional selling. Our programs will help your teams develop their:
Human Skills:the ability to understand and relate to people as individuals
Technical Skills:to match a program, product or service to meet the customer needs and helpthem create value for their company
Let’s create some winning stories for your team. Contact us.