HOW TO BUILD A COMPELLING VALUE PROPOSITION
As a professional salesperson, I enjoy interacting with my prospects and/or customers about their planned future ventures with the possibility of helping them explore their propositions with the idea that I may value-add wherever possible. For it is this ability to recognise where I may add value that both impresses the prospect and endears them to me and my company faster than most other methods.
In fact, I go out of my way to do this purposely because the majority of my competition, who may have suitable products or services, are unable to truly articulating a compelling value proposition. Moreover, the prospect is further impressed if I am able to show stability in the way my company operates in key areas of interest to my prospect, because to them a stable company that is able to unveil a substantive value proposition is critical to start the journey of how your “idea” to building a successful relationship that is vital to their future venture.
In simple terms, this kind of a value proposition is based on an initial positioning statement that explains what benefit you provide to them and how you and your company are able to do things uniquely well, as it describes to your prospect, the challenges you are able to solve, and why you can do this distinctly better than the other alternatives or companies they may be considering.
Now as you set out to create that compelling value proposition, consider applying these four steps: 1. Define, 2. Evaluate, 3. Measure and 4. Build:
- DEFINE the problem and ascertain whether it’s worth solving
Once a challenge is written out it is generally half solved. At this point never make the mistake of diving headlong into the solution (as most would) before you really understanding what the prospect is looking to solve.
Next look to create a point of urgency so that your solution can be integrated effectively. The more urgent the matter, the more important the solution will be. At this point you should be able to draw out a budget for this.
- EVALUATE whether your breakthrough is unique and compelling
After you understand the problem you’re solving, you should ask what is unique and compelling about creating an immediate solution? Then once the prospect starts revealing that, simply ask what would make this business model compelling in their opinion? The more they talk, and the more you write the more a workable solution will become apparent to both of you.
At this stage just trotting out a product or service you claim to be faster, cheaper and better is not enough to make it compelling. Avoid this at all costs because the solution should be jointly arrived at. Once that is achieved, they will be more open to your suggestions.
- MEASURE the potential adoption using a Gain to Pain Ratio
Years ago I was taught to never sell on features but to sell on benefits. Then I met Brian Price who passed away more than 15 years ago. Who taught me to think the Gain to Pain concept in negotiation.
We all sell on gain when in negotiation, but never discuss the pain the prospect will experience after they take delivery of the product or service. And money is rarely a pain issue. Mostly the pain is associated with what will day do after delivery. Will they need to be trained, will they need special modifications, will it suit all of the issues they may have or will there be a need for them to work on progressive adjustments, improvement and servicing.
Each of these (whatever is applicable) aspects need to be addressed one by one, and when they are the more and more value is built as the pain factor is dismantled.
- BUILD More Value on the Value you have already established
Those three prior points of 1. Define, 2. Evaluate and 3. Measure are extremely powerful value building steps. The 4th step is to use a check list, from the notes taken through the 3 steps pf the Compelling Value Proposition. By simply ticking off each area of agreement, if there is any point that the prospect is unsure of you are able to address it there and then, consolidate the point and go on.
The most important step – STEP 5
Now after those four steps, there is one more, a fifth step. And it’s the most important step of all. Be sure that you are able to deliver on everything agreed upon. If you need to call a superior to ensure you are able to deliver on every promise, do it then for any new arrangement you need to make after you wrap up the call will not be looked upon favourably by the prospect.
Be true to yourself and your prospect/customer at all times