“A value proposition is a clear statement of the tangible results a customer gets from using your products or services.  It is focused on outcomes and stresses the business value of your offering”.                                                                                  Jill Konrath, Author and Sales Leader

Your value proposition (VP) is the most powerful statement you are ever likely to use when attempting to capture the attention of prospects, so it is worth spending some time on crafting one that works every time. In fact, if you have multiple offerings that address different business issues, you need different VPs associated with each. Your VP answers the questions your prospects are asking (not that you will ever hear them asking of course!):

  • What positive difference can you make to my business?
  • How can you help me solve my business critical issues?

A strong value proposition opens door, while a weak one doesn’t, plain and simple.

Your VP should be financially orientated and it should address the business critical issues your target market is facing.  It should be specific, citing numbers or percentages and it should go towards demonstrating your capabilities and credibility.

Your Value Proposition

Don’t confuse a value proposition with an elevator pitch or unique selling point/proposition (USP), many salespeople are guilty of doing just that. These statements are designed to tell people who you are, what you do and what differentiates you from your competitors.  There are times when these statements are useful, such as networking events or company introductions, but when you are targeting a prospect and you want to win face time, you need your strong value proposition.

So what separates a weak value proposition from a strong one?

Weak VPs are extensions of elevator pitches and USPs.  They go on about how wonderful or different the seller is, attempting to create a “WOW” factor in the mind of the prospect.  Problem is your prospect doesn’t give one hoot how wonderful you are, how advanced your technology is, or what accolades you have won.  These statements tend to stop short at benefits and fail to translate the benefits to tangible outcomes.

A strong value proposition tells your prospect that you can solve their problems, that you can save them €xxx per annum on their overheads, or you can increase their revenues by xx% with a return on investment in xx months!

Specific, Tangible, Measurable, Business Outcomes

Your Value Proposition

Some samples of strong value propositions:

“After adopting our sales methodology, a similar company to yours achieved revenue growth of 25% in the first year without increasing the size of their team or spending more on advertising.  That represented a return on investment in one month!“

“By implementing our print management system, some schools have reduced their spend on stationary and toner by as much as 30% and these savings are realised immediately after implementation. Furthermore, there is no charge for the software that helps to achieve these savings, it comes bundles with our hardware!”.

You need to convince your prospect that you can help in some of the following ways:

  • Increase revenues
  • Increase margins
  • Reduce overheads
  • Improve operational efficiencies
  • Improve customer retention
  • Reduce employee turnover
  • Increase competitive advantage
  • Minimise risk
  • Reduce stock holding
  • Quicker sales cycle
  • Reduce labour costs

Brendan Dunne of Proactive Pipeline works with sales teams to help them adopt a consultative sales approach in order to move away from price and sell on value.

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