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Asking good sales questions is pivotal to your sales success. But, that's not what I'm here to talk about today. Instead, we're going to focus on what happens AFTER you ask these questions.
Many consultants and professional services providers find it difficult to quantify the measurable results customers realize from using their offerings. Because of this, they think they can’t come up with a strong value proposition.
I understand why they feel this way. With 15 years of consulting under my belt, none of my product launch clients measured or assessed the effectiveness of my work. There are many reasons for this - not enough time to compare before/after results, the lack of a benchmark and the multiple factors that impact a new product’s market success. But like many of you, I lacked good hard data.
Here are a few examples of how to measure value propositions to get you thinking:
Sales Training / New Product Launch
So how does your value proposition look? Can you describe what you do in terms of tangible business results? Do you have documented success stories?
Or do you need to do some work to enhance your value proposition? If it’s not strong enough yet, don’t despair. Most people and companies have a much stronger value proposition than they realize.
Here are 3 ways you can unlock the impact your product or service has on on your customers' business objectives:
To get sales meetings, the business value of your offering must be crystal clear.
A while back, I had lunch with the president of a $1/2 billion division of a major corporation. She told me that if someone contacted her and said he could reduce waste by just 1%, she would meet with him immediately. Why? Because she knew exactly how much her company spent on waste – and it was a lot of money. Every penny she saved would go right to the bottom line.
Powerful value propositions open doors – quickly! Taking time to really clarify yours is well worth the time invested in the process.
Here are 2 ways to create sales messages that work in today's business economy.
1. Fill your sales message with business-oriented terminology.
Strong value propositions are always stated in business terms. Corporate buyers are particularly attracted to phrases such as:
Without a strong value proposition, it’s much harder to sell your products or services in today’s economy, much less even get in the door of big companies. But what is a value proposition? And how is it different from other commonly used terms?
A value proposition is often confused with an “Elevator Speech” or a “Unique Selling Proposition.” It’s essential to understand the difference between these terms because their purposes and sales impact are very different.
If you're like most sellers, you want to create the perfect message -- one that your prospects will read and immediately pick up the phone to invite you into their offices.
You agonize over what to include in it. You struggle to find just the right words to showcase your expertise without sounding like you're a braggart. You wonder just how much you should include about your company, products and services. And sometimes, you even write to me for advice!
Here's the deal. You need to get over it.
Since publishing my two free ebooks Cracking the LinkedIn Sales Code and LinkedIn Sales Secrets Revealed, I get asked tons of question about how to use LinkedIn best. One of the most contentious issues relates to the use of InMail.
Numerous people have written to tell me it's a total waste of time -- that they never get responses from it. Yet, our 2013 survey results showed that top sellers used it nearly 4 times more than all other respondents.
Answering the question "What do you do?" seems like it would be easy, but it's more difficult than you think - especially if you haven't put much thought into how you would respond. Here's one common sales pitch example that will send prospects running for the hills.
When asked the question “What do you do?” most people minimize their value. Minimizers position themselves by either their title or by their products/services. Their elevator speeches are brief and factual. They really dislike “puffery” and bragging and give the most concise response possible.
Here are some common examples of The Minimizer elevator speech:
Stuart Armstrong faced a big challenge. He needed to get his company into as many decisions as humanly possible -- and he was starting from scratch. Below you'll read how he used LinkedIn to jumpstart his prospecting initiative.
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© 2014 Jill Konrath