If you’re like most sellers, you envision finding the perfect way to position your products/services. You want ONE perfect phrase that’s so attractive to prospects that they immediately respond to your voicemail or email—literally begging you to meet with them as soon as humanly possible.
The truth is, like diamonds in the rough, value propositions like that do exist. But not like you think …
(P.S. I’ve included links to several of my best sales tools/ebooks below, so keep reading.)
Why Your Current Value Proposition Isn’t Working
First off, let’s look at why your current value proposition might not be getting the responses you’d hoped for from your prospects.
You could be struggling IF your value proposition focuses on:
- Your wonderful products, service or company. The truth is, no one cares. You haven’t given them any reason to consider changing from the status quo.
- One primary buyer type, when multiple people are involved in the decision process. What matters to the Sales VP can be very different from what Marketing, IT or Finance care about.
- Relevant issues in a specific industry/company that are minor concerns with others. Value propositions that work well in financial services may be of little interest to those in technology or manufacturing.
- Non-strategic priorities when the company faces more urgent concerns. Recent changes within an organization, the economy, the marketplace, customers, competitors and more can change things overnight.
“Wait a minute, Jill,” you say. “This is getting complicated. I thought you said there was ONE perfect value proposition. Now you’re giving me all these qualifiers.”
How to Find the ONE Perfect Value Proposition
That’s right. I did say there was ONE perfect value proposition. But here’s the secret—your perfect value proposition is not one you can use with every company, every individual, at every moment in time.
To find the one perfect value proposition:
- Start by focusing on just one industry—even if you could sell to a broad range of companies. Personally, I chose to focus initially on technology-driven companies because I understood the marketing/sales issues they faced.
- Identify the primary people involved in the buying process. Then, using this Buyer’s Matrix, map out their responsibilities, objectives, issues, challenges, and more.
- Figure out the top three ways these companies are handling things WITHOUT using your products or services. Brainstorm how their current “status quo” might make it difficult to attain their goals, how it could impact productivity, revenue, customer experience or whatever they could be trying to improve. (This is in the Buyer’s Matrix too).
- Research the companies/individuals you’re pursuing. Learn what’s important to them, and find out if they have any major strategic initiatives.
- Search for trigger events that could change a company’s priorities. In this Hidden Gems ebook, you’ll find out how to do this. It’s the best way to loosen the grip of the status quo and create an opening for your products or services.
And Then Craft Your #1 Value Proposition
Pull everything you’ve learned in your research to craft a perfect value proposition for one specific buyer, at one specific company who very likely is experiencing a challenge/issue you can help them with.
While you’re at it, craft two or three more. You don’t know what’s happening within the company because you’re still on the outside. Yes, you can make some assumptions. But you don’t know the priorities, so you need to have some options. Finally, put together a campaign – using email, voicemail, social media—to reach that person.
When you’re done, focus on several more potential contacts within the account. Repeat the above process.
ONE of these messages will ultimately resonate. Maybe two or three.
If you consistently call on similar companies, buyers, industries, you’ll soon identify the best messages to be using.
Clearly finding your value proposition this way isn’t a shortcut. In fact, initially it seems like a slow slog, fraught with a gazillion variables.
But once you work through this process, it becomes repeatable. Wherever you work. Whatever you sell. To whomever you sell it too. It’s a strategy that does not fail.