How do you create value? This apparently simple question may well be the most important one you will ever be asked. Your ability to clearly articulate your value proposition will separate you from the pack, elevate your performance, and offer direction as you move ahead with your career.
Your value proposition is the reason for your professional existence. It describes how you create value for others. It makes you stand out in a crowded marketplace. Without a compelling value proposition, you are ordinary and disposable -- a commodity. With a distinguished value proposition, you are unique and indispensable.
A value proposition statement summarizes the reason why a potential customer should buy your particular product or service, how it exceeds that of your competition, and why it is worthy of the price they must pay. The ideal value proposition is concise and appeals to the customer’s strongest decision-making drivers. It is an irresistible offer, an invitation that is so compelling and attractive that the customer would be out of his or her mind to refuse your offer. The million-dollar question is how to make your value proposition seductive.
Research indicates that most professionals do not have a value proposition in the form of a clear and concise statement that explains the tangible results their customers will receive - the unique benefits they bring to bear that others cannot. A differentiated value proposition goes beyond functional product or service descriptions to express the results a consumer can expect to achieve. Most people attempt to sell a product or service without focusing on customer benefits or outcomes.
Let’s take a look at two well-known value proposition statements from FedEx and M&M.
“When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight.”
FedEx became the leading overnight courier in the world with the help of this value proposition by identifying that the customer did not just want fast delivery but also valued a rock-solid guarantee of urgent delivery.
“The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
M&M’s powerful value proposition made customers realize that chocolate did not have to make a mess. This statement was particularly impactful for children.
Which of the following value proposition statements would you be most likely to respond to:
“We offer one-stop shopping. My company can offer you a full range of products and services to meet your every need!”
“After going through our unique process, one client saw a 30% reduction in claim frequency and a 25% decrease in insurance costs. Through the utilization of my diagnostic system, you will realize the significant impact to your bottom line.”
Quite obviously, the second statement resonates with prospects most frequently. It gave the agent the Value Proposition Advantage.
In developing your own Value Proposition Advantage, you must understand that:
- Value cannot be created unless the customer has a business problem or issue to solve.
- Value is in the eyes of the beholder. Each customer has a different set of needs and business issues. Your value proposition must be customized to the specific needs of each customer.
- A value proposition based solely on product features, functions, performance, and pricing is not sustainable. You may win in the short term, but you will lose when your competition introduces better capabilities.
- Your true value lies outside the product or service you are selling. You can create tremendous value through the intangibles brought to bear in a relationship.
How do you create value? Your answer to this question has unparalleled implications in determining your future success.