As a business & marketing coach, I come across businesses all over the spectrum – ‘barely starting,’ ‘fully developed,’ ‘just an idea,’ ‘stuck’…
And I come across all types of businesses – coaching services, marketing agencies, MLMs, fitness training, affiliate marketing, remote control device sales, housekeeping, gardening, web design, real estate, car dealership, anti-aging, daycare, insurance agencies, culinary…
And it’s awesome. I absolutely love helping people expand their business and really get down to the nitty gritty of what strategic steps they need to take to expand.
Now, in coaching hundreds of businesses, I’ve learned that no 2 are the same – some may be similar, but everyone has different needs.
However, something that applies to every single business that has existed and will exist is this: What is your value proposition?
A lot of times, a marketing problem or sales problem isn’t marketing or sales at all – it’s a problem with getting clarity on what your value proposition is.
In other words, what value are you going to deliver? Your value proposition is the primary reason a prospect should buy from you.
Now, you’d be surprised at how many business owners are still unclear on what this is.
It is vital to get extremely clear on what your value proposition is.
Especially if you’re a start-up – you need to be able to differentiate yourself from current competitors that currently offer services or products similar to yours.
I ask all of the people I coach to describe their value proposition and some respond with things like:
• We’re the low-price leader
• Our goal is to serve as many people as possible
• We want to become the XYZ leader in XYZ
• We’re the fastest delivery company around
These are great statements to have, but they’re not a value proposition. Statements like the ones above position your company, but they are not clear on the value your customer will receive by choosing you over someone who offers a similar service or product.
Now, I want to emphasize there there is no one clear way to go about developing a value proposition. However, I suggest you start with the following formula that I’ve seen work over & over:
- Headline. What is the end-benefit you’re offering, in 1 short sentence. Can mention the product and/or the customer. Attention grabber.
- Sub-headline or a 2-3 sentence paragraph. A specific explanation of what you do/offer, for whom and why is it useful.
- Bullet points. List the key benefits or features.
- Visual. Images communicate much faster than words.
Here are some examples of companies that use this formula well:
What are they selling? A website.
What is the benefit of using it? It’s totally free.
Who is their target customer? People who want a personal blog or a business site.
What are they selling? Mobile optimization.
What is the benefit of using it? It’s really fast.
Who is their target customer? People who need mobile optimization for their site or app.
What are they selling? Web & mobile payment processor.
What is the benefit of using it? Ease of use.
Who is their target customer? Programmers & developers who want to enable online payments.
What are they selling? A platform to find music & artists.
What is the benefit of using it? It’s easy.
Who is their target customer? Music lovers.
Now, for your business as you go and develop your value proposition, consider these questions:
- Who is my target audience?
- What is my competition – and how are they positioned?
- What’s the biggest problem I solve for my customers?
- How does my target audience communicate – what type of language do they use?
- What are the benefits of my product or service?
- What makes my product or service desirable?
- What credible & tangible numbers can I share to beef up my proposition?
- What proven industry example can you play off of?
- What unmet needs will your venture serve?
- How will your product or service be priced?
- How can you bridge the gap between the customers’ motivation to buy and the cost of your product or service?
Consider these questions and develop your value proposition – then test it.
Slap it on a clean landing page, gauge your conversions and optimize it.
Once your clear on what your value proposition is, you will be amazed at how much easier your sales and marketing will become. Everything else will branch from your value proposition. Get clarity on it, review it and continually improve it.