Except, many value propositions are commoditized, to clients’ ears. Besides, these statements are created by organizational committee (or the marketing department). As a result, these statements often lack breadth and depth.
Also, value propositions are primarily articulated by sellers during customer acquisition. These selling value propositions often do not reflect the shared cultural values hardwired into workforce pulse. Then again, value propositions often become static and stale over time. They are uttered like tag lines for advertising, rather than reflecting real-time customer success dynamics.
Consequently, creating a compelling professional promise statement is far more provocative and engaging to clients, over the long haul. Your promise statement endures, regardless of how your value propositions morph. Here’s why.
First, value propositions focus on today’s features and benefits based outcomes.
What is keeping customers up at night is not: “What can you do for me today?” They worry about tomorrow and the future. Also, their definition of organizational tomorrow involves more than your current product or service.
As a result, value propositions tend to all sound the same, across competitors. “We want always exceed expectations and thoroughly delight you. We will increase your efficiency by X, decrease waste by Y and improve customer experience by Z.”
Now, if the client currently has problems in areas X, Y and Z today, you are in luck. However, your value proposition can be compromised, tomorrow. What happens, tomorrow, when competitors offer the next iteration of technology and value? Now, X+1 efficiency, Y+2 decrease and Z+3 customer experience are available. Then what?
Can you keep up with competitors? Or do you struggle to remain “as good as”?
At the end of the day, prospective (and current) clients are left with one question: “So what?” If that is the question, then the only “What’s in it for me?” answer they seek is price-based. Otherwise, they defect to a competitor offering X+4 value.
As a result, value propositions are vulnerable to becoming outdated or abandoned.
Now, depending on audience context, an organization can create a variety of value propositions. However, who owns the value proposition over time?
Often, value propositions get lost within departmentally-specific silos and marketing and sales campaigns. Once the initiative is completed, who remains accountable for delivering on yesterday’s value proposition, today and tomorrow?
For example, value propositions can showcase the value you deliver ensuring customer retention, yet may be related to yesterday’s product and service mix. Similarly, you can create an organizational value proposition of what prospective employees can expect to receive when working with you. However, what happens to that proposition when there is merger and acquisition?
As a result, value propositions should be given a time stamp when created, and continuously curated, so they remain valuable and relevant to customers.
Alternatively, a professional promise statement is a big-picture statement within which the customer envisions themselves.
Well-crafted professional promise statements showcase how your organization addresses the same problems and issues your clients face, now and in the future. These statements present an ongoing and ethical commitment from your organization to clients.
Promise statements are big ideas.
Then, a professional promise statement translates your own commitment to clients. You, too, have conducted professional due diligence. Thus, you have refined, redefined and recalibrated your core competencies, in order to timelessly deliver them to clients.
As a result, your professional promise statement clearly, concisely and confidently tells clients that you continue to walk in their shoes. Not only that. Customers believe you will have their back when you work together. Your professional word is your bond.
Isn’t that statement a big promise? Doesn’t a professional promise statement create a thought-provoking platform for catalyzing a client conversation? When your promise statement invites clients to think bigger, they are encouraged to invite you to collaborate in creating their own promise statement.
As a result, professional promise statements inspire clients to translate their dreams and transform their organizations.
Instead, a well-conceived promise statement is an invitation to something bigger, something future and something everyone can participate in continuously creating. There is nothing transactional or tactical in the scope of this statement.
Thus, when working with you, clients create a framework for continuously creating and leveraging the value of their own professional promises to acquire and retain customers. Consequently, customers begin to understand that promise statements represent a workforce leadership initiative, instead of a To-Do list. And that epiphany becomes the key to innovating themselves out of their current, status quo resting state.
My professional promise statement to you: Leveraging Collaboration. Catalyzing Professional Development, Workforce Engagement and Customer Success.
Follow this link to learn more about how a professional promise statement changes the way you perceive yourself, your team and your business.
Babette Ten Haken serves organizations as a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention, especially in challenging Industrial Internet of Things environments. . Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM, ATD, PMI and the National Speakers Association. Image source: Getty