5 Signs your Value Proposition needs some work & How to make it better

I would bet my life on the fact that most companies don’t have a clue what they’re selling. In fact, while writing this blog,I also had to redefine my own!

Of course, all companies know what kind of product or service they’re sending out invoices for but what’s the perceived added value? It usually goes well with explaining how your so-called solution solves problems or improves a client’s situation. However, can you explain why they should buy your product and not the competitor’s?

1. Prospects keep asking what you do

For obvious reasons, this is an issue.

It takes longer than you’d like to explain to customers what it is you do exactly. Obviously, you want to get a clear picture as soon as possible to be able to get the conversation going with this particular client. After all, you want to do business. In real life, at a conference for instance, you might be able to explain it by answering common questions like: Sooo, what is it you do again? Can you explain to me concretely? Say, what?

Now think about the last time you were googling for help and came across a website and it was not clear to you how they could possibly benefit you. Did you stick around for long? No. Chances are that you hit the Backspace key and went on to the competitor, hoping for better. You don’t get a lot of second chances with website visitors so you have to make it count.

2. The competition could be your doppelganger

You should be aware of the competition, no doubt about it. But, how do you distinguish yourself? In my opinion, this question separates a useful value proposition from a list of stuff that you have to offer. It happens all the time though, companies just stating lists of every service or product they feel is worthy to mention.

Why don’t you try to help your prospects? Probably, all they’re doing is comparing quotes and trying to find a difference. Wouldn’t you?

Imagine you’re selling regulatory or compliance related services. If you start googling now you’ll find many vendors out there offering a similar package. So how would you be able to differentiate? Maybe you cover a specific region. Maybe all your colleagues are ex-EMA staff. Maybe you’re the expert in biosimilars. Who knows? Not your customer if you don’t differentiate!

3. Leads come in for things you don’t offer

This can happen a couple of times, of course, but if it starts looking like a pattern: have another look at your value proposition. It’s a clear signal that you’re not attracting the right audience. Why else would they have the feeling you could help them?

Also, if this audience is finding you, imagine the audience you’re missing out on. Eventually, you want qualified leads to come in which instantly moves your focus from lead generation to the closing part.

4. Your messaging is a bit ambitious

JustPushPlay: you single-source truly global provider of life sciences business development solutions. Haha, right..

No, that won’t fly. It sounds epic but won’t work, simply because it’s just a collection of buzzwords; it doesn’t really say anything.

Try to refrain from making hyperbolic claims and stop pretending you’re the only one out there because 99 times out of a 100 you’re not.

Instead, describe clearly and honestly, what the benefit is of working with you. To do so, use words that aren’t in the corporate dictionary.

5. Customers tell you they experience a different added value than you promote

When this happens you need to listen very well. I don’t really want to get into customer satosfaction surveys, but when a customer is telling you what your added value meant to them you want to write it down and think about it.

Although there might be differcesmit what and how they tell you your added value to your audience should be similar, speaking generally. If it’s completely different from what you had in mind, you dan use it to adapt, improvise, and improve your value proposition. After all, we’re all learning and changing every day.

Even if you have plenty of leads coming in, this kind of information will help you tailor your proposition to your specific audience. Keep in mind that it could also very well be the case that you are tapping into an audience you didnt even have in mind yet!

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

Sometimes a little editing or addition to your value proposition can make all the difference. Nonetheless, in some cases you’re better of starting anew altogether. In either case, eventually your value proposition needs to focus on:

What are you offering
Who are you selling it to
And why are you different from the competitor (what do they lack, what do you do better, why)

With those questions in mind, an effective value proposition should be captured in one sentence in a credible way (not a slogan). Some general aspects to keep in mind, a value proposition:

  • is specific to your customers

  • demonstrates the how

  • explains why you and not competitor

  • has no hyperbolic claims

Further, I personally feel it works best if you:

  • keep it simple and concrete

  • make it cool or fun

  • focus on real value