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Is Your Value Proposition Helping or Hurting You?
Posted on August 25th 2014
Your value proposition is an important part of your marketing strategy that is often misunderstood. Although a key concept in marketing for decades, it is now just as important in the online world where you are trying to get people to click on your ads or convert on your landing pages into qualified leads.
A value proposition is a clear statement about the tangible results a customer will realize from using your products or services.
Delivering value requires understanding what your customer wants to accomplish, the challenges they face, what is important to them and then delivering the message in terms that your audience understands.
Sounds simple, right?
But creating a value proposition for your business is not a simple exercise because it requires that you understand what is truly unique about your business that has value to your customer.
Your value proposition needs to be the first thing your visitor sees when they reach your website to quickly know whether you are a good fit for them. Make sure your homepage encompasses your value proposition and that it:
- Explains who you work with and the value you provide - Many companies have a poorly developed value proposition because they try to be everything to everyone.
- Tells your audience what makes you uniquely different - It’s not just the product or service you sell but the perceived value in your offering that encompasses the entire customer experience.
- Aligns with what your target audience wants or needs – This shows that you understand their challenges which will entice them to find out more.
Finding a value proposition on many small business websites is difficult although some have entire pages dedicated to it. Companies hide their value from their customers by speaking industry jargon that does not help the prospect determine whether this is the right solution for them. What most of these describe is at best, their mission statement and at worse, why that company is wonderful, not how they help you solve your business challenges.
No value proposition is better than an ineffective one
Let’s take a look at three value propositions from a few different disciplines. When reading these, remember the three things your value proposition must convey: value, relevancy and unique differentiation.
- Financial Advisor – “We are committed to providing a road map that encompasses sound ethical advice, thoughtful planning and quality results. Together with our associates and subject-matter experts, we provide objective guidance by following our Unique Process and schedule of deliverables. As our relationship grows and you allow us the privilege of becoming your trusted advisor and ally over time, we will increasingly give your wealth purpose, guiding you on the pathway to a financially secure future. We also seek to earn the right to be referred to family, friends, and colleagues.”
- Web Design Agency – “XYZ partners with clients, enhancing their online marketing, web strategies and online campaigns. XYZ is dedicated to building long-term relationships through superior customer service, beautiful design, cutting edge programming and the deployment of SEO/SEM marketing best practices.”
- Business Coach - “I will confidentially work with you to find the answers to the questions that will build your organization by raising performance levels. Through a process of understanding you and your business, I will focus on strategy development and partner with you to bring about a disciplined process to execute your business plan. You will move your performance and that of your organization to a higher level.“
These statements all have the same problem. They don’t:
- Say who they work with – I need to know that you understand my business and my challenges.
- Tell me what I get for working with them - How do you increase my wealth? What results will I get from my website? What do you mean by move my performance?
- Tell me why they are different from their competition – All three of these statements would work on any of their competitors websites.
Develop a strong value proposition
Strong value propositions deliver results: increased revenue, faster time to market, decreased costs, improved productivity, increased market share or improved customer retention levels. When prospects realize value from your products and services, you increase sales, generate quality leads and strengthen customer loyalty.
Here are effective value propositions. These statements encourage prospects to find out more:
- Financial Advisor - Our services cater to individuals that want to secure their financial future. Our comprehensive financial planning and wealth management services don’t just focus on increasing wealth, but also ensure that your assets are protected.
- Web Design Agency - Our web design services increase the online visibility of our small business clients through a consistent and well designed web presence while decreasing the cost of acquiring new qualified leads by 30%.
- Business Coach - “We work with home improvement contractors on increasing sales and decreasing costs. Typically our clients grow their business by a minimum of 20-40% over the year while reducing costs by 30%.”
Value Proposition Tips
If you struggle to acquire new clients or get website visitors to take action, here are some tips to help you develop your value proposition to ensure you are aligning your value to your target audience.
First, answer the following questions:
- Who specifically do we work with? The better you understand who you work with, the more you can define their wants, needs and challenges.
- What do they want and why? What do they value the most? What you offer needs to be relevant to what they need and what they are willing to pay for.
- What do we do that is unique to our company? This is what will distinguish you from your competition.
Once you have answered these questions, then begin building your value proposition statement that targets customer needs and differentiates you from your competition.
A successfully tested and proven value proposition is essential to opening more doors and closing more sales.
Does your business have a value proposition that is clear and compelling to your target audience?