How many of you treat your value propositions like a closet full of clothes? You get up each day and decide which value proposition you are going to wear. In your mind, depending on the customer, your value proposition is disposable and subject to whim. In your mind, depending on how the prospecting conversation goes, you may swap out one value prop for another.
Value propositions are nothing less than the tangible benefit a customer or investor receives from doing business with your company. While you may tailor the tangible benefits side of the equation, your value proposition is nothing short of communicating your core values to your customers and investors.
It’s your second skin. Your professional mantra.
That’s why finding a successful value proposition is so elusive to many sellers and entrepreneurs. Value propositions are not some catch-all gimmicky phrase that seems to convince a customer to buy. Buyers are more savvy than that.
Your value proposition demonstrates your understanding of not only What’s In It For Customers (WIFC) but tells your story and what you are all about as a business professional, as well.
A value proposition is a loaded, powerful statement.
Your value proposition requires some technical, entrepreneurial, and sales soul-searching. Your value proposition showcases the breadth and depth of your professionalism.
It’s not an act. It’s not a script. It’s not some spiel. It’s not canned. It’s not learned behavior. It’s not show up and throw up selling or pitching.
In today’s globally competitive business world, there truly are folks out there who wear their technical, sales and start-up hearts on their sleeves. These are the folks who have taken the time to find out how to articulate their value, in words they are comfortable saying and buyers/investors are comfortable hearing.
Your value proposition should strike a chord with buyers. It creates a common denominator for communication. It is an interface for collaboration.
Your value proposition is nothing short of artistry.
Think of a concert hall. You are waiting for the performance to begin. Everyone is buzzing in anticipation. The lights dim. The performers cross the stage, accompanied to the audience’s wild applause. The musicians begin to play their instruments. The audience recognizes the opening chords.
As the adrenaline of the audience meets the performer’s creativity – at that interface where energy from the stage and from the audience collides- that, my friends, is where the artistry happens. It inspires. It makes us dream of what is possible. It is transactional. It is valuable.
How many of you have every thought about pitching or selling in this manner?
Performance artists aren’t sitting on stage trying to remember which notes come next. It’s part of their DNA and their technical training. It’s a given. Their art is all about their interpretation and communication and synergy with audience.
That’s what pitching your startup and/or selling your product, service, or technology platform is all about, as well. It’s not about remembering what you learned in a sales training course or the latest marketing collateral. It’s not about a well-rehearsed spiel or remembering the lines of a sales script. It’s not about recalling which analytical theorem to use.
It’s about translating this information, and interpreting and communicating to your audience in a relevant, valuable, and inspiring manner. It’s part of your DNA. You wear your value proposition like a second skin. It is inseparable from Who You Are as a Person of Worth.
Something to think about? How will you be creating or changing your value proposition(s) moving forward to reflect the tangible benefit customers receive from collaborating with you?
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to small and mid-sized businesses and startups. Download her newest White Paper at her Free Resources Page. She was named one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers 2013. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business? focuses on technical / non-technical collaboration strategies and tools. You can download the first chapter here.