Bill Cates video that is included as a special bonus for this specific article:
Start Focusing on What Really Matters to Your Prospects and Clients
Marketing experts are always talking about how we must have a Unique Value Proposition, or Unique Selling Proposition, look Different in the marketplace, or accentuate what makes us Distinct.
Indeed sometimes we need to define and accentuate our differentiation to catch the attention of our prospects and others who are important to our business. But differentiation, distinction or uniqueness isn’t the end game.
The end game is moving someone to take action… to respond to our email or voice mail… to grant us an appointment (phone or in person)… to do business with us… and to follow our recommendations.
Every part of your unique value proposition should be built for two purposes – that continually work together:
- Relevance – What makes you different isn’t worth a hill of beans if you aren’t relevant. How many times have you had someone tell you about their product or service, but never took the time to know if what they offered was relevant to your world – or at least make an attempt to learn your world first to tailor how they communicated their value? Have you ever been guilty of just talking about your value before getting to know the receiver of that message?
- Compelling – In this context, compelling means move to action. We cannot move someone to action until our message is relevant to them. Then, we must continue to ask questions and talk about our value in a way that results in action; otherwise we just create polite interest without meaningful action.
Relevance is a Two-Way Street
How we talk about our value, should be designed to attract the right prospects into our world and repel the wrong prospects at the same time.
When you craft the various parts of your value proposition, don’t be afraid to narrow your message to the extent that how you talk about your value carefully qualifies who you want to enter into your world and disqualifies those who don’t fit. (Let someone else serve the prospects and clients who don’t fit.)
Value Proposition and Referrals
How we craft a relevant and compelling value proposition is inextricably linked to our ability to meet more new – qualified – prospects through referrals and personal introductions. I am not changing my brand or emphasis on referrals and introductions. I’m merely adding to all the elements that come into play.
4 Elements of The Ultimate Value Proposition™
So if being Unique or Different is not what wins you the business of a new client, what does? Being the Right Fit for your prospect or client is what wins you new business. Your prospects must perceive you as the perfect fit for them or they’ll keep looking. Like I said, being a little distinct can draw someone to you at first, but if they don’t continue to see the relevance in your solutions, you’re history.
Here are the four elements of a value proposition designed to win new business. This is by no means an exhaustive list, I think you’ll see that these elements are all interrelated and important.
- Targeted – In just about every industry we could name, generalization has given way to specialization. And, to a degree, the more specialized the better. If you haven’t already done so, get super clear on the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your ideal client. A targeted value prop is at the heart of all the elements that follow.
This targeting or narrowing of who you are trying to attract into your business creates what I like to call Macro Relevance.
- Attractive – I guess it goes without saying that we want to talk about our value in a way that attracts people toward us. Being targeted will help that, because the prospect will say to themselves, “This gal understands my world” or “He gets me.” Probably the most important aspect of an attractive value proposition is your “personal why” or “personal mission.” This is where you become real to your prospect, which is what makes you attractive.
- Authentic – Have you ever heard someone talk about their value in a way that make have been “different” but just didn’t seem genuine or “real?” Tricky, trite, or cheesy value props are often associated with the Elevator Pitch. Having a short, concise, and interesting way to communicate our value IS important. But if what we develop does not feel genuine to us, we won’t use it (nor should we).
- Micro Relevant – This is probably the most important of all these elements and you can probably surmise that the first four feed into this one. More than anything else, you’re prospects want to know, “Why are you the right fit for me?” Meaning… “Why are you, your value, your solution, you’re mission… most relevant to me?” How do you create relevance?
There are two phases to being Micro Relevant. Phase I – Before you contact a new prospect, you want to learn as much as you can about that prospect before you even reach out to them. When you look at your prospect’s LinkedIn profile, their Facebook page, their bio on their company website and, best of all, learn all you can from your referral source – then you become super relevant to that prospect.
Do you want to look different in the marketplace? Then do your research before you contact a prospect. That will truly make you standout. You will find your emails get returned and your voice messages get answered.
Phase II starts when you being your phone or in-person conversation with your prospect. Rather than immediately go into presentation mode, go into conversation mode. You can give them some context of you are and what you do, but mix in some high-value questions (questions that teach, provoke, and peel back the layers of the onion). I don’t believe that “sales calls” should ever be a pure presentation, nor should they be a pure inquisition. You want to create a conversation that brings value to both your prospect and to you.
At some point in your process of courting a prospect, if you sincerely believe that you are a good fit for the prospect’s situation, then make your you tell them that and tell them why. Tell them why you believe your offering is relevant to them. They want… no need to know that.
Don’t ever assume they’ll come to that conclusion on their own; that they’ll say, “You can get your app out now.” Be confident. Make a recommendation for the next logical step – whatever that might be.
If a value proposition does not compel someone to take action or create movement on the part of your prospective clients, then it’s fatally incomplete. And the first and foremost way for your value proposition to move someone to take action is to be relevant.
When every question you ask and everything you say is relevant to your prospect, you are attractive, authentic, targeted, and distinctive. You will appeal to the emotional component of the decision making process and will win the new client.
If orange is the new black, then relevance is the new distinction!