Is It Time to Touch Up Your Value Proposition?
In the world of sales, what exactly does “creating value” mean and why is it important? It’s the process of providing something that’s quite tangible and does one or more of the following:
- Generates revenue growth
- Increases share of market
- Reduces costs
- Transfers costs
- Enhances or secures brand attributes
These “value objectives” are key to building better and more compelling propositions. So, think seriously about how to use these key objectives to reassess and refine your own value proposition.
Here are 5 ways to get started:
Craft Your Value Proposition Based on Your Target Audience’s Challenges
We assume that you’ve done your homework regarding the client’s hopes and dreams, and more importantly the client’s problems and obstacles. The very best value propositions address the hard stuff that clients are facing, which runs the gamut in today’s competitive and rapidly changing landscape. Clients are also far more appreciative and respectful of salespeople who demonstrate a genuine concern for the state of their respective business. After all, if you want their money, shouldn’t you be giving them something in return besides an implementation or delivery schedule?
Take the Time to a Do a Value Proposition “Inventory”
Pull out your last five or ten sales presentations and evaluate the quality of the value proposition in each one. Was each one as good as it could have been? What’s the correlation between the quality of the value proposition and the quality of the contract that was generated? If it’s a new business pitch, did it generate any new business? The more honest and objective you can be in this process, the better the results.
Create a Positive Disruption with Your Value Proposition
Being disruptive is not about being critical; it's about helping our clients take their business to the next level. In our conversations, it's "have you considered?" as opposed to "wow, I can’t believe you’re doing it that way.” It's being the consultant who has obviously done the necessary homework in order to put forth thoughtful and practical ideas that clients can incorporate into their operations. It's the opportunity to become known as the person who always brings solid ideas and suggestions to every encounter with a given client. Smart and savvy business people welcome "positive disruptions" that will increase their efficiency, productivity and ultimately make them more prosperous.
Build a Forward-Thinking Value Proposition
Clients want to do business with people who are looking forward not backwards. There's nothing worse than a sales call that rehashes past negative situations or makes apologies for lack of results. If problems have occurred, then we walk in with solutions that point the way forward. Each and every problem presents us with the opportunity to come up with great solution. If something didn't work last time, there’s a good chance it won’t work this time around either. So, to gain and maintain a healthy partnership with our clients, we should be thinking about what they're thinking about--looking closely at their enterprises and figuring out how our products and services can bring positive and rewarding change to theirs.
Position Yourself as Part of the Value Added
Before you can make real headway with your value proposition, you need to be perceived as valuable too. There must be real continuity between the perceived worth of the seller and the perceived value of what’s being sold. Never assume that you know what your clients are expecting from you. In order to provide value, you need to first understand what your client perceives to be valuable and whether or not you can deliver it. Your client’s needs are ever changing, so taking the initiative to learn what your client’s burning issues are through research and constant conversation is incredibly important. It’s as simple (and as complicated) as that. Far too often, there is a disconnect that kills a sale because the client doesn’t see much value in the seller.
The bottom line: being perceived as an effective and consistent provider of value is the best path to success. So, as you prepare to touch up your value proposition remember these 5 ways to get started.
About Steve Bookbinder
Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DMTraining. He has delivered more than 5,000 workshops and speeches to clients all over the world and has trained, coached, and managed more than 50,000 salespeople and managers. Steve continuously refreshes his training content to reflect his latest first-hand observations of salespeople across industries and regions. Through him, participants in his workshops and coaching sessions learn the best practices of today’s most successful sellers and managers across industries. Steve understands that sales is a competitive game. To outperform competitors and our own personal best results, we need to out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else, not merely know how to sell. Through his specialty programs in Pipeline Management, Personal Marketing, Great First Meetings, 2nd-level Questioning, Sales Negotiating, and Sales Coaching, Steve trains sales teams to master the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face in today’s world… and keep improving results year over year.