21 Oct Creating A Killer Value Proposition
There are 4 things that need to come together when developing a killer value proposition.
- Who am I targeting?
- What problem is my customer trying to solve?
- Where do I fit in the picture?
- What’s my call to action?
If any of these things are missing, your value proposition will fall short and miss the mark.
The bottom line is people don’t have the time or patience any longer to figure things out. We live in a sound-bite world. Have you ever been introduced to someone and ask them what they do? What makes some people great at explaining their value proposition and others falter so badly it makes your brain hurt?
The reality is I used to be one of those people that made your brain hurt. I hated to be asked, “What do you do?”
My poor wife hated answering that same question. What does your husband do? Her answer was a rambling series of past stories — he helps people in business. He does a lot of things. He’s not really a consultant exactly. I couldn’t really tell you, but he’s good at whatever he does.
The fact is I had a problem. I didn’t know how to explain the 100 things I’ve learned over a 30+ year career and boil it down to a simple sentence or two. I’ve tried a lot of things in my past and I’ve worn a lot of titles…
CEO Coach, Startup Advisor, Business Consultant, Serial Entrepreneur, Startup Guy, Guy that helps business owners just to name a few. I literally own over 50 domains with all kinds of goofy names just in case one stuck.
Secretly, my biggest fear was that I had become a jack of all trades and master of none. Nobody but my wife knew I had that fear. When I told her she tried to lift my spirits with encouraging words, but in my gut I was really starting to feel a mid-life crisis coming on. Was I becoming too old to find a high paying job? Was I destined to a life of being a consultant who couldn’t explain what the heck he does?
I had spent my entire career avoiding working for big companies so I wouldn’t ever be labeled “middle management.” I preferred CEO even when it meant I still took out the garbage, aka chief cook and bottle washer. I would have rather been a big fish in a small pond than a little fish in a big pond. But one big problem remained, what was my pond?
Why is articulating a solid value proposition so challenging for a seemingly intelligent person with a wide variety of skills and experience? Am I alone in this or have you come to realize that one of the hardest things to do is create simplicity and clarity?
A few months ago an amazing thing happened that changed everything for me. At the urging of a friend of mine, Cory Huddleston, I was commanded (Cory has a booming voice and his encouraging tone sounds more like a command from God) to sign up for some online training by Sam Ovens. With Cory and Sam as my guides, my world changed. It was as if someone had gathered all the bits and pieces of my life together and rearranged the scattered and tattered bits to create a complete puzzle. For the first time in my professional life I was able to sit back and see the full picture with complete clarity. It was as if I had finally been given the top to the puzzle box.
So here’s what I’ve learned, and the exciting thing is you can do it too. When you get this nailed, your world will change. Amazingly, there are only three steps to creating the Killer Value Proposition:
1. THINK TRANSFORMATION NOT FEATURES AND BENEFITS
Every product or service you offer should be thought of in terms of how it transforms the life of your customer. Don’t think of 100 transformations. Find the one single powerful transformation.
Sam explains transformation really well. It’s so simple and that’s the beauty.
The distance travelled between (A) your customer’s current situation and (B) your customer’s desired outcome is your value. The greater the distance you can move your customer, the greater the value is to them. The secret to a great value proposition is finding your greatest transformation; the one transformation that brings the greatest value to your customer.
I’ve worked with over 100 startups in my past. It’s a horrible marketplace for a consultant because startups by definition don’t have any money. But like a sick gambler who’s won before, I just cannot seem to leave the table when things are hot. When Cory asked me what I did to help startups and we thought about it in terms of transformation, my highest value transformation became crystal clear. When I boiled down the 100 things startups need, one transformation stood above all others.
Once you have the highest value transformation clear in your mind, you have your value proposition nailed.
I help startups get funded by maximizing their value proposition to investors.
Now, I’ve got to be honest. When I first said that out loud, I hated it. It felt so confining. It sounded like I was a business broker not a CEO coach. It limited me. It was only partly correct. It focused me too narrowly on a segment of the market and even worse that segment was broke.
2. TRY IT ON FOR SIZE
Cory asked me to try it before discarding it. Again, his booming voice made it sound more like a command, so I tried it on for size. That’s point two. You need to test your new value proposition out despite the fact that you may have reservations.
My first test was telling my wife about it. She too felt it was confining knowing me and what I’ve done in the past, but she said, “At least it’s easy to understand. I can remember it.” At the end of the day, that’s the point.
It also passed the friends test. Then something crazy started to happen. They began sending me referrals.
I put “Got an idea? Need funding?” on my LinkedIn profile. I started blogging about it. Requests to connect were coming to me rather than me stalking and hunting people down online.
Holy cow, it worked! I had more deal flow than I knew what to do with, and I had a new problem — filtering inbound requests. I learned a ton in the process but the biggest has been this:
“People don’t want your products or services. They want to be transformed from their current situation to their desired outcome.” Mike Tobias
3. DRIVE IT EVERYWHERE
You may need to tweak your value proposition, but once you get it down drive it for all it’s worth. Use it everywhere and you will be amazed how clarity and simplicity change everything about your business.
I was so excited about how well this worked that I ended up joining forces with Cory at Lure Studios, and now we are helping businesses gain clarity on their value proposition so that it can be used to drive customers to them online.
If you want help figuring out your value proposition, understanding ways to test and measure its effectiveness, or are ready to drive it through all avenues of digital media we would love to be your guide. It has worked for me. It’s working for us. It’s working for our clients. I know it can work for you.
For more information check out our Lead Generation Case Study.