HOW TO: write a strong value proposition

| February 6, 2011

Rashid KotwalYou probably think you have a good handle on what your business does. But could you outline exactly what you offer customers in a few sentences? And does it matter?

Principal Consultant of Revealed Resources Rashid Kotwal says nailing the value proposition is a crucial element of success. 

The sales and marketing business consultancy has advised mid-size companies on business expansion for more than a decade.

 “A value proposition is what does the end user get? Why would they listen to you over everyone else? What are the results you’re going to be able to provide them?”

“It’s absolutely critical you get this right for your target audience,” Kotwal says.

Narrow your market

The biggest marketing blunder Kotwal sees is businesses trying to appeal to the masses.

“Businesses often think everyone is their market. Focus in on a particular segment, so you know what problems they have and how (the business) can solve them,” he says.

“What most people’s reaction to that is I’m going to miss out on a whole lot of work. The paradox is by narrowing it down you will actually get more business.”

“You can have a number of different markets, but you have very specific value propositions for each of those markets,” Kotwal says.

Put pen to paper

So where do you start?

Kotwal suggests a brain-dump is a good way to begin crafting a value proposition. Write down everything your business does. Go through the FAQ’s. Look at the common issues clients face and how your business provides a solution.

“Establish what the current customer’s situation is. What problems do they have? What have they bought and why? What were you able to achieve for them?” he says.

Sift through all the information in front of you. The key is distilling your competitive difference down to a couple of sentences.

“For a client of ours that is an accountant specialising in property tax, the value proposition was minimise tax, maximise returns, protect assets and keep the ATO happy.”

Kotwal says a strong value proposition will assist the sales force.

“Very often the sales force is quite fuzzy about what it is they are really trying to sell, and what the real benefits to the clients are.”

“What we experience is once a client is comfortable with the value proposition, then they feel comfortable going out there and selling. It clarifies what they are doing. They are providing service and value to their clients.”

“We experienced it ourselves. When we were fuzzy with our own value proposition it was much harder to pick up the phone and talk to people,” Kotwal says.

For more: Revealed Resources