How to Write a Value Proposition
If someone only gave you 30 seconds to convince them to do business with you, would you know what to say? Once you have developed your company’s value propositions you will. Value propositions are how companies relay their values and their methods of delivering tangible results. This messaging is used to prove to prospects that a company’s products or services are the tools they need to solve whatever problems they are facing. Value propositions should also address what makes a company different from and superior to their competitors.
One mistake many companies make when developing their value propositions is failing to consider what it is that their prospects actually want and need to hear. It’s easy to come up with a simple statement that says, “we’re the best” and “we stand out from the crowd.” However, this holds no actual value. You must show, not tell. Buyers don’t care about your buzzwords, background, or what you're selling as much as they care about the results you can deliver. Here’s how to go about crafting value propositions that will quickly get the right points across...
How to Develop a Value Proposition
1. Brainstorm how your products or services benefit others, taking both practical metrics and anecdotal evidence into account.
2. Identify your target audience and create customer personas. Take into consideration who your prospects are and what they need to hear before you start writing your proposition.
3. If you’ve already created internal statements, such as your vision and/or mission, you probably already have a pretty good idea of what your company’s purpose is and the value you aim to provide to others. Take these into consideration but turn the message into a front-facing one.
4. This is not a simple tagline or slogan. Take these three important factors into account...
a. Relevancy - Explains how your products/services will improve your prospects’ current circumstances.
b. Quantified Value - Be specific about the benefits prospects will get from your products/services.
c. Differentiation - Tell the prospect what they will gain from going with your company instead of your competition.
5. You could also think about it from the perspective of what questions your proposition should be answering, which are…
a. What are your products/services?
b. What are the benefits and end results of using your products/services?
c. Why are you different and unique?
Another important thing to remember about value propositions is that once you go through these steps and develop messaging directed at a particular target audience, you will most likely have to repeat this process multiple times. This is because you probably serve various markets, meaning that the solution your products or services provides is different for each of these. It’s crucial to switch up your language to specifically address who you’re talking to and what their needs are.
Now that you’ve spent all this time distilling the most important aspects of what you do into these value propositions, what’s next? Spread the word! Your sales department should start sharing your value propositions in early conversations with their prospects. People will be pleasantly surprised when your reps don’t start with, “We’re different. Do you know how different we are? We’re totally unique.” (Something they’ve probably heard many versions of countless times).
Here’s a suggestion for sales reps: after you present a value proposition to a prospect, ask a question. Now that you’ve done your best to relay exactly what your company is about, turn this interaction into a two-way conversation. Try asking prospects about their pain points. After all, if you don’t know what’s wrong, how are you going to effectively fix it? Showing that you’re truly there to listen and help is a great way to back up any statements you’ve made about being “different” and “better than the competition.”
Also, your value propositions should be a big part of your marketing efforts. Putting your propositions all over the place will make it easy for people to get to know your company before they even talk to sales. In fact, making an outward-facing message about your worth abundantly clear can turn casually browsing internet users into hot leads with very little work on your part. If someone is searching for solutions, whether they’re aware that they are or not, and they come across a well written value proposition, they’ll quickly realize that your company has the answer they’ve been looking for.
Where to Put Your Built-Out Value Proposition
- In your print collateral
- On your website
- On your social media profiles
- In advertisements
- In press releases
- In emails
To be blunt, if you can’t show prospects how you will help them achieve their objectives, they won’t be interested in doing business with you. How will you know if this is the case and your value proposition is too weak? Well, is anyone responding to your calls and emails? Are new people filling out forms on your website and asking questions on social media? If you’re experiencing radio silence, then it’s probably time to revisit your value proposition and how you’re using it.
Remember, the message you deliver to your prospects should not be basic information about your company and your products or services. They want to know the benefits they will reap through working with you, and you’ve got to be convincing. Sometimes the status quo is so comfortable, even when there are problems popping up left and right because of it, that people are not willing to switch it up. Prove to prospects that it’s worth thinking outside of the box and trying something new, with you!