“What Makes Your Company Worth My Attention?”
What do your salespeople communicate on sales calls?
Imagine the woman above runs a $50 million biotech firm. She has given you 15 minutes of her limited time. You landed the appointment through her admin. Five minutes into the meeting, she’s already wondering what’s in it for her and when you’ll get to the point.
Only 10 percent of executives, surveyed by Sirius Decisions, claim sales calls deliver enough value to warrant their time. Forrester Research cited only 15 percent of calls convey value.
That means 85 to 90 percent of the time executives see no value in the sales call. No wonder C-suite executives become difficult to reach.
For this reason, a well-written and communicated value proposition may well be the door-opener you needed all along.
Let’s take a peek at the financial services industry.
The 2016 Scottrade® Advisor Services RIA Study showed that 53 percent of advisors plan on developing or improving their value proposition in the next three to five years to stay competitive.
In the next three to five years? Who has that much time to wait?
Two-thirds (67 percent) of advisors do maintain a formal, written value proposition for their practice, while another 22 percent of advisors say they work with an unwritten value proposition. One in 10 reports their firms have no defined value proposition at all.
In my opinion, value propositions are the number one reason why buyers pay attention to what you have to say or to sell.
What’s A Value Proposition?
First, this simple definition from Kissmetrics:
A value proposition is “a believable collection of the most persuasive reasons people should notice you and take the action you’re asking for.”
A strong value proposition communicates directly with your prospect base why it needs to or should want to purchase your products and services. It’s a clear statement of the tangible results prospects gain from becoming your customer or client, including:
- Solves an unmet need prospects face
- Relieves their pain
- Focuses on outcomes
- Offers an easy-to-remember phrase or few sentences
- Spreads word-of-mouth marketing
- Differentiates you from the competition
For those firms with well-worn value propositions, or none at all, take heed.
Study the examples below from such market winners as Apple MacBook, Dollar Shave Club, Mail Chimp, Salesforce, and Skype: 31 value proposition examples, thanks to the Impact Inbound Marketing Agency.
Your Working Template
You can access hundreds of how-to templates online to help you create your value proposition. The important point: Do it. Don’t wait years to update it. Improve it as often as your offerings evolve or your market changes. Try the template below to help you.
Once you have finished your value proposition, and you may need to do one for each market segment, you still have more work to do.
When and where do you deliver your value proposition?
Had our salesperson to the biotech firm prepared a value proposition, he would have more than likely led the conversation with it, either on the phone approach or at the beginning of the meeting. It’s a matter of timing.
Leading with your value proposition simply confirms “why you?” Moreover, you’ve not learned anything about the prospect’s willingness even to make a change, whether from status quo or another vendor. Read my recent post on getting commitment. You will be glad you did.It is essential that you help the prospect answer “why change” early in your sales process. In that way, you stay on
It is essential that you help the prospect answer “why change” early in your sales process. In that way, you stay on firm ground as you deliver your value proposition, clearly and often.
And here’s the good news: C-suite decision makers respond positively to opportunities to meet with salespeople who know their value, know the prospect’s business, and consistently deliver concrete outcomes and measurable results.
Take the next step and download my ebook, How to Write a Killer Value Proposition. Learn what you don’t know and add to what you do.
See you on the upside,Bill
For more information, go to www.pleinairestrategies.com
Or call William L. MacDonald in San Diego at PleinAire Strategies LLC at 760.340.4277 or 213.598.4700