Your value proposition is what makes you stand out, gets you noticed, separates you from your competition and brings in great customers that you want to sell to. So, if it’s something as important as that, then every business must have one?
Most businesses are too busy selling to stop for a second, take a breath and think about their true value to their customers. If I asked you what it is that sets you apart from your competition, could you answer me in less than 20 seconds with less than 20-30 words?
In this short blog post I’ll describe what a value proposition is, how to create yours, and the impact this can have on your business.
Arguably the most important part of your message to potential customers, your value proposition tells readers why they should do business with you and not with the competition. It makes it crystal clear that doing business with you has certain benefits that you can’t get elsewhere. It gives your products and services their true value and makes this value obvious to your customers.
So what exactly is a value proposition?
A value proposition is a short pitch to your potential customers. It’s the first piece of text a customer should read when they visit your website. It’s the brief statement you make when a customer asks you why they should do business with you. It’s the combination of knowing your customers problems and the fantastically eloquent way you are going to solve them.
A value proposition is not a slogan, it’s not jargon, it’s not a bunch of buzzwords that don’t mean anything to your customer.
A value proposition can be thought of as:
- Your unique value to your customer
- How you solve your customers problem in a unique way
- Your point of difference to your competition
At Upspark Digital our value proposition is :
We use a combination of marketing, branding and web design to enable fireplace businesses to sell more, stand out and turn more of their website visitors into buyers.
This short statement helps position our business in a number of ways.
- It shows why our customers should care – We don’t just sell a service, our business is designed to solve big problems for our clients i.e. attracting more customers.
- It quickly states the core services we offer so potential customers can quickly figure out whether we are a good fit for their business.
- It defines our target market
You’re already standing on a mountain of value
One of my favourite authors, Daniel Priestley, has a mantra that he tells his clients to repeat:
“I am already standing on a mountain of value. My story is valuable, my experience unique and I am highly valuable as I am”
I believe that every business has uniqueness and value that sometimes lies dormant deep within it. It lies dormant because the business owner has forgotten it’s there, has taken it for granted or doesn’t know how to present it in the right way to get customers. One of my favourite things to do is to discover a client’s mountain of value. It can be such a sea change in their outlook, how they position their business and the sales they generate.
If you can work out what your value proposition is, you’re on your way to getting more of the customers you want to work with. As you get to understand your business and your customers better, you’ll refine your value proposition. This will lead to your business attracting more of the type of customers you want to work with, leading to a happier business owner and happier customers.
Using my company as an example again, we don’t just sell marketing consultancy and design services, we sell ways for our clients to gain credibility, trust and ways to make people take notice of their business. We sell outcomes for our clients, we help them get more enquiries and ultimately help them sell more of their products and services. That’s why people buy from us. If we just sold plain old marketing, branding and web design services then we just become part of the overall market. Customers wouldn’t be able to distinguish us from any other company selling similar products and therefore we would end up competing on price.
This is where the overwhelming majority of fireplace businesses end up. They don’t have a unique value proposition and therefore customers don’t see the difference from their business to Joe Bloggs down the road, or why they would spend more with you as opposed to buying online. I can’t state how important it is to carve a unique position in the market. If you’re finding yourself competing on price more often than not, then, you need to reposition your business now. Find your unique value and make it obvious to customers why they should want to buy from you and not from anyone else.
So how do you come up with your value proposition?
Firstly, ask yourself these questions:
- What is that customers repeatably thank us for or find valuable?
- What is it customers always talk about when they leave reviews?
- What is it that we do that our competition simply can’t offer?
- What is it that made customers want to do business with us in the first place?
If you don’t know the answer to these questions then go find out. Lift the phone to previous customers and find out what they loved about doing business with you. When you interact with new customers, have these questions top-of-mind and start to answer them for each customer. Quickly, a theme should emerge, this theme will help shape your value proposition.
Refining your value proposition
You might not be able to distil what you do and why your customers should care down to a few words straight away. Keep working on it and refine it over time. Your customer’s problems will change over time and therefore so must your value proposition. Keep on top of researching your understanding of your customer’s problems and get better at articulating solutions for these at every touch point with your customer i.e. your website, social media channels, emails and of course in person.
Remember, you and your business are already uniquely valuable.
Never forget you’re already sitting on a mountain of value. Don’t stop trying to discover it. Your eureka moment that changes the course of your business might just be around the corner.
Please feel free to leave comments below and if you have your ‘Eureka’ moment then I would love to hear from you.
P.S. We created a framework around identifying your unique value and how to identify and attract the right customers that will love this unique value. We call it the Unique Positioning Canvas and you can find it here.