More Ideas to Find Your Value Proposition

While asking your customers for input is one of the best ways to understand the true value of your offering, sometimes it’s not easy to do. They may be hard to reach or difficult to visit. Decision makers may have changed since the initial decision to go with your offering. Or, they may not be very articulate about the value of your product or service. If that’s the case, don’t fret! Alternative strategies are available.

Brainstorm With Colleagues

Get together with a group of colleagues to discuss your value proposition. Your collective wisdom and experience provides a broad perspective. Plus it keeps you from only maintaining a focus on what your product or service can do. Even if you slip back into a description of your offering, your colleagues will challenge your thinking.

Review your marketing materials. Reflect on your customer knowledge. Think about what you say that interests and excites your customers and prospects. As a group, here are some questions you can discuss:

● How does your product, service or solution impact your customer’s bottom line or expenses?

  1. What costs have been eliminated?
  2. Time saved?
  3. Can you quantify a tangible hard dollar value gain?
  4. What intangible value has it provided?

● What positive impact has your product, service or solution had on bringing additional revenue/business to your clients?

  1. What has the gain been?
  2. Can you determine a tangible hard dollar value gain?
  3. What intangible value has it provided?

● Does your product, service or solution enable your customer to achieve any competitive advantage?

  1. What has the gain been?
  2. Can you determine a specific hard Rand value gain?
  3. What soft values has it provided?

● Does your product, service or solution have an impact on your customer’s customer?

  1. What has the gain been?
  2. Can you determine a specific hard dollar value gain?
  3. What intangible value has it provided?

● How has your product, service or solution impacted your customer’s bottom line or expenses?

  1. What costs have been eliminated?
  2. Time saved?
  3. Can you quantify a specific hard dollar value gain?
  4. What soft values has it provided?

If tangible results aren’t forthcoming, challenge the group to take the discussion to the next level. Keep asking each other, “So what?”

  • So what if it’s an efficient system?
  • So what if we have a replicable process?
  • So what if it’s high quality?
  • So what if they have improved communication?
  • So what if we cut turnaround time by 2 days?
  • So what if the morale has improved.

Asking these question over and over again, gets you much closer to the real value you bring to customers. Look for the impact your offering has in the organization. What financial affect do your products, systems or services have on the business?

Determining your value proposition with only an internal analysis can be dangerous though. Outside validation by your customers is important, if at all possible. When it comes down to spending money, it’s only your customer’s perception that counts.

Remember, many companies tout really weak value propositions. And, worse yet – nobody realizes just how bad their value propositions are. Don’t let another day go by with a weak value proposition. Use all the resources at your disposal to strengthen your value proposition.

If you’re an independent professional, get a group of colleagues together and brainstorm each other’s business case. You need each other to get to your primary value proposition – you’re much too close to it to discover it without help.

Use Industry Statistics

For a variety of reasons, sometimes it’s difficult or impossible to measure your value proposition. If this is your situation, I strongly recommend using industry statistics to support your work.

For example:

  • 75% of executives in big companies involved in a complex sale (long term, multiple decision makers) blame poor value propositions as a major cause of their new products failing to achieve projections.
  • 90% of everything learned in training is totally forgotten in 3 months unless sales management reinforces the learning.
  • 50% of a manager’s time is spent resolving people issues related to trust issues and poor communications.
  • In a recent study done by a well-known management consulting firm, it took laid off executives over 100 informational interviews before they started seeing results.

If you think about your business, I suspect you can come up with some statistics also. Again, they can be great proof sources of the need for your product or service in the market.

Stay tuned for the penultimate part in this wicked series next week!

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