create a killer value proposition
Your value proposition is one of the most important tools in your sales and marketing tool kit. Why is it so important? Put simply, it tells your customers what your products or services do for them. For a B2B company, your customers typically want to know how you will improve their business. (As my colleague Dean Stearman of TALO Advisors says, "How are you going to make or save them money?") For a nonprofit, your donors want to know how you are a good steward of donated dollars to achieve outcomes. Without a solid proposition, you lack clarity and substance.
Over the years, I’ve read countless articles and books devoted to this topic, searching for the elusive, perfect definition and formula for creating an effective value proposition. Harvard Business School’s Mark Skok’s definition and formula came close, but put into practice, it always felt too academic and clunky. (I still highly recommend watching his presentation, “Building a Compelling Value Proposition”). Ultimately, Jill Konrath’s Value Proposition Tool Kit is the best I’ve come across.
Jill breaks value proposition into three straightforward questions to answer. While working with Thom Innovation on their brand this past week, I put the formula into practice:
1. Identify the business drivers of your customer.
A business driver is a resource, process, or condition that is vital for the continued success and growth of a business. Think of it as the reason a client will hire or engage with you.
Drivers for Thom’s clients: team alignment and productivity
2. Articulate what changes for your customer.
Clients want to know how you make their lives easier or better than their current state. What kind of movement do you create for them? Are you eliminating cost overruns? Increasing sales? Decreasing employee turnover?
What changed for Thom's clients: faster decision-making and increased operational efficiency.
3. Add metrics to make your value proposition more tangible.
Metrics are the measurable results obtained from an action.
Thom’s clients reported: efficiency increased by 70% and analysis time decreased by 50%
THOM INNOVATION GETS TEAMS INTO ALIGNMENT TO SPEED UP DECISIONS AND INCREASE OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY BY AS MUCH AS 70%.
If you are not sure what you do for your customers, do what we did: ask them!. It not only provides evidence of your value, it also gives you the right language to use when talking to your customers — their own words.
Don’t have time to think about your value proposition much less ask your customers about it? Hire an agency like Roger That to do the heavy lifting for you. Our customers have reported being able to increase prices without losing customers and increasing revenue by 20% since working with us. Achieving that kind of movement is well worth the investment.
Once you have the right value proposition, use it across all your communication channels: website, print collateral, email, social media, elevator speech, and more. It will help you stand out in the crowd because it moves the conversation from what you do, which is about you, to how you will make your client’s business better, which is about them.
Written by Agency Director Jennifer Ruwart
Contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org
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