Do you solution sell? Here's a quick tutorial to help you solution sell more effectively during the entire sales life cycle. In this Whiteboard Video Karl Becker introduces a simple, proven construct called Trial Balloons - a construct to test the waters and move up the value-creation ladder in any sales conversation.
When you use Trial Balloons you will sell more effectively and create more value.
What Is Your Client Really Buying From You? How to Create a Winning Value Statement [with Examples & Templates]
You know that a strong value statement is crucial for your company to thrive. It’s that power statement — those magic words — that tell your client that you understand their problem and have the perfect solution at the ready.
Though value statements are often brief, the process of getting to those precise, honed words can be anything but. So, here are some hacks and examples to help you write your own winning value statement.
Questions to answer with your team
Before you put word one down on the page, you want to make sure you have these five questions answered with your team:
1. Who is your client? “Anyone” is never the answer. Try our Ideal Audience worksheet if you’re struggling to define your market.
Example: Full-time long-haul truck drivers
2. What problem are they facing? Put yourself in your client’s shoes. What are they struggling with that your service will help them with?
Example: Truck drivers struggle to find time to eat and sleep while meeting demanding scheduling expectations.
3. What do you offer? Be sure to articulate what you offer from your client’s perspective. So, your app may have the most cutting-edge framework ever and you may be totally geeked out about it, but your clients care most about what your services offer them.
Example: A voice-activated app that optimizes truck drivers’ routes and identifies weigh stations, truck stops, and hotels with driver discounts along the way.
4. What differentiates you? Think of the superlatives that you and your team use to describe your product: is it the first, the fastest, the easiest, the only one of its kind? Focus on why your client should pay attention to your solution over all others like it.
Example: First navigation app built with truck drivers in mind.
5. What are the benefits of your solution? How do you solve your client’s problem? How will their life, work, or situation be different once they adopt your service?
Example: TruckerMap shaves time off your drives, identifies the food you need to fuel your trips, and keeps you well-rested and safe.
Putting it all together [examples + templates]
Now that you have all the elements, you want to put them together in a way that’s attractive, easy to process, and memorable. Here are some hacks for doing just that.
Write one powerful sentence
The most straightforward way to build your value statement is to connect your client and their challenge to your services and benefits in one, clear sentence. In Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers, Geoff Moore suggests using the following template to do just that:
Compare your service to something your client already knows.If you can find a way to compare your service to another well-known product in another industry, you’ve found a shortcut to conveying your value proposition. By relying on your audience’s knowledge of the familiar product, you can quickly say a lot about what you offer.
Focus on who and how you help.Steven Blank’s suggestion for cutting through the noise is to frame your value proposition in a way people will easily understand. He suggests focusing on who and how you can help.
Nail your elevator pitch.Building off of Dave McClure’s How to Pitch a VC presentation, which encourages businesses to focus on short, simple, memorable keywords or phrases, use this simple template to define the elevator-pitch version of your value proposition.
Challenge yourself to be brief.Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write an entire story using no more than six words. Since then, many writers have similarly tried to pack an entire story into as few words as possible. Can you convey the value you provide in six words or less?
Want more templates? Check out our Value Messaging Worksheet.
Looking for more on how to grow faster? Check out 10 Sales Tactics CEAVCO Audio Visual Used to Generate $2 Million in New Revenue.
Your value proposition is your company’s North Star: it guides you in every client-focused aspect of your business and provides direction in times of confusion. That’s a lot of weight for a few sentences.
Your value proposition is important because it embodies what you provide your clients. Look at any successful company: every one of them clearly articulates the value they offer. For example, Slack’s value proposition is “making working lives simpler, more pleasant, and more productive — for everyone.” Digit’s is “save money, without thinking about it.”
This strategic message helps your clients find you and helps your team rally behind what you do. Without one? The internal and external confusion that commonly results in lost sales.
Here are a few reasons why you might be avoiding writing a value proposition — and tips for working through those blocks.
You’re only focused on leads.
Creating your value proposition may seem like a time-waster compared to the everyday quest of attracting clients, but it definitely isn’t. Operating without one can create the kind of inconsistent experience that may hurt your brand — and your growth.
If you are unclear on the value you provide, you’re likely unclear on who you provide it to and how you create it. Without an understanding of these foundations — value, audience, and offerings — your team is selling blind. You may be successful in the short-term in generating some sales, but you’ll be closing fewer deals than you could with alignment. Without clarity around these fundamentals, growth often plateaus.
Everyday operations and closing deals today are both crucial to keeping the lights on. But if you want those lights to be on five or ten years down the road, make time for deep, strategic thinking today.
Your leadership team isn’t aligned.
Does your leadership team see eye to eye about what you offer? Without this alignment, it’s difficult for leaders to guide organizations effectively. This lack of clarity can impact not only your team but how clients perceive you.
It’s easy to believe that you and your partners are aligned even if you are not. You have an intimate understanding of your product, right? You’re experts! However, your value proposition is the articulation not of what you sell but of the need that your products or services fulfill.
So, for example, you may be aligned on the fact that you are selling event services to small- to mid-sized businesses. But your partner may see your primary value as “saving busy executives time and money by taking responsibilities off their plates” while you see your primary value as “bringing clients the new ideas that really engage audiences.” Neither answer is right or wrong, but misalignment can lead to inconsistent messaging and ultimately miscommunicating your real value. Both saving resources and creating engaging experiences are great value propositions for event services businesses. But only one should be your primary focus, the goldstar message that you communicate to your team and to your customers.
Take the time to really articulate — together — what you think the purpose of your company is in the eyes of your clients. If you find disagreement or differences of opinion within leadership, these are often opportunities for growth.
You’re afraid of getting it wrong.
Nothing stifles curiosity and creativity quite like perfectionism. If you and your partners find yourselves continually revisiting and redrafting your value proposition but never finalizing it, you may be paralyzed by fear of getting it wrong.
There’s no doubt that the value proposition is important. But overemphasizing how crucial it is to the point that you are operating without one is counterproductive. Your value proposition will grow and change with your company over time and with the changing needs of your client base.
Don’t languish without one. After some hard work, client research, and open conversation, give one of your best drafts of your value proposition a try.
You need to embrace growth and change.
It’s even more important to sync with your team as your company grows. If you resist writing your value proposition, or reworking one that’s outdated, you need to take a good hard look at what’s changing and how you’re handling it.
Perhaps the real value of your offerings has incrementally changed with your audience. It’s easy to overlook this kind of gradual change — until you find your value proposition sounding increasingly stale or inaccurate.
Periodically reevaluate what you’re providing your clients — and why. Take regular client polls that help you understand what challenges you help them meet. Check in with your sales team — not just on their numbers, but on questions and thoughts from leads and clients.
Look for patterns and create messaging that reflects your current solutions and where you are headed in the future. This will not only help keep your value proposition on-point but will help you stay on the pulse of your clients.
Not writing a value proposition plagues companies for some of the reasons outlined above. But every company needs one, including yours. It guides your sales efforts, helps express what you do for potential clients, and leads your company in the right direction.
Do you need help developing your company’s value messaging? Explore this worksheet and video with your team.
One of the most powerful ways to gain clarity into your strengths and to grow faster is to define how you create value for your clients.
Check out the video above as Karl Becker from The Carruthers Group describes the importance of aligning your sales organization around your defined value.
I’m Karl Becker and I help individuals and organizations improve how they sell. My focus is on clear, concise, actionable solutions.
In short, I'll show you how to increase performance and generate more revenue.
This blog shares approaches, tools, and ideas that I have seen create success.
If you’re interested in discussing anything, please reach out.