What Makes a Good Value Proposition?
You know that when you are trying to sell your product or service to a potential customer, defining their problem is half the battle. Then you need to tell your customer what they need to do to solve the problem. Of course, your product or service is what the customer needs to solve the problem, but just saying “We have the solution you need” is not going to cut it. So, you need a good value proposition.
What exactly makes for a good value proposition, and how do you create one? In the material that follows, you’ll find out how to create value propositions that get results.
Clear, Definable Benefits
Creating a good value proposition leaves little to the customer’s imagination. Give them all the information they need, including a reminder of the headaches their current predicament is causing, and how that situation will be improved thanks to your product or service. State clearly how other customers have benefited – use examples.
Also, state clearly exactly what the customer is getting. It’s not enough, for instance, to say that you offer “production tracking software.” Instead, point out that “Our customers report on average 26% greater productivity when using our software.”
Know Why Your Customers are Using Your Product
A value proposition, quite simply, tells the customer what they are getting. So in order to state your value proposition effectively, you need to know why they are using your product. Is it to quantify productivity, or is it to impress the boss, or is there some other purpose? Once you know the purpose, you will have a better idea of how to present your value proposition.
Identify the Differences
Why is your product better than that of the competition? In what important ways is it different? Does it do something that no other product can?
Catch and Keep Your Customer’s Attention
To do this, you need to make your value proposition very plain. Start with a compelling headline. Then you can proceed to a quick, snappy pitch. Remember, people skim – they don’t usually read, unless you have totally grabbed their interest, and even then, they probably won’t read intensively. So you need to communicate value quickly and in a way that engages the reader instantly.
Use bullet points rather than text blocks, and make each one count. Add clickable links to guide the customer along, and continue to add value along the way. “Sign up,” for instance, offers less value than “Get set up in less than a minute.” Basically, you don’t want to make them do any heavy lifting.
Use the Same Phrases that Your Customers Use
You have probably heard it said that the best resumes are not at all creative; they simply parrot back the language the recruiter used when creating the job ad. And it’s actually true; studies have shown that candidates who copy the recruiter’s language are more likely to get interviews.
This also works when you’re creating value propositions. Use the same language that your customers use. Pay attention to what they’re saying; there are any number of tools that you can use that will isolate specific words and phrases, and then you can use those words and phrases in your value propositions. Your customers will be convinced that you’re able to read their minds, and they’ll be impressed that you have such a great handle on what they want and need.
Strengthen Your Case
When creating a good value proposition, offer assurances. Essentially, this is a method of offering a customer a way out if they’re not satisfied. You could offer a no-risk free trial, or a money-back guarantee. It’s just a way of letting your customers know that they’re getting good value and be taken care of every step of the way.
Another good way of strengthening your case is by using customer testimonials. People like knowing that other people are satisfied with your product.
This, in the final analysis, is what it’s all about. A good value proposition gives the customer the information they need, in a truthful and compelling fashion. It’s not enough to have a better product than the competition. You need to convey the idea that your customer will gain far more from choosing your product than they will lose from leaving behind their old product – otherwise, they’re just going to stick with the status quo.
The way you communicate will determine how your customer perceives potential gains and losses. Whether they buy or not is going to depend entirely on how well you communicate the value of your product. So, your job is to convince your potential customers, through a compelling value proposition, that life will be so much better for them once they choose your product or service.