It always surprises me how few of the amazing people I meet at networking functions are able to articulate in a compelling way what they do and how they do it.
All Meetings are Marketing Opportunities
We all want and need to be remembered, particularly if we are running a small business. Every meeting is an opportunity to market your talents, whether it is a party or a casual conversation at a supermarket.
You may have heard the term “elevator pitch.” The basis for that term is in what may be called your value proposition.
Value Proposition Expresses Tangible Results
What exactly is a value proposition? It is a clear statement of the tangible results a customer gets from using your products or services. Crafting a value proposition that is memorable, succinct, and authentic is a critical component to your business success.
Essentially, what you are communicating through your value proposition are your points of differentiation. What makes your service unlike others that are out there? It is your statement of how you provide value and why people should work with you.
Peter Drucker on Business Success
I was fortunate to earn my MBA at Claremont Graduate University while Peter Drucker was still alive. Peter had a simple core belief about business success. In his view, success is based on a company’s understanding and ability to articulate a value proposition to its customers.
Peter Drucker actually began all of his outside consulting assignments with these three questions:
- What is your business?
- Who is your customer?
- What does your customer consider valuable?
It may seem very simple, but by properly answering those questions, you can create a powerful value proposition for your business. Let’s look at some real examples of value propositions.
Google – “Find What You Want Quicker”
Google is a search engine and defines itself today as an information company. Their value proposition is, “Find what you want quicker.” Notice how this is short and sweet – and it works!
Air Duct Cleaning – “Clean It Before You Breathe It”
Since many people in my family suffer from allergies, I was looking to have the air ducts in my house cleaned. I receive mailers all the time for air duct cleaning, but one ad captured my attention. It showed a picture of a family and included the tagline, “Clean it before you breathe it.” The ad copy went on to suggest that if you are suffering from allergies, headaches, and similar issues, you can potentially solve these problems by cleaning out the air ducts in your home. The combination of identifying the problem, solving it, and my perception of the company’s family values sold me.
Clear, Concise, Meaningful, Authentic, and Consistent
A value proposition must be clear, concise, and meaningful to your target audience. It also needs to authentically represent who you are and be something on which you consistently deliver.
How to Create Your Business Value Proposition
Here are some basic questions to ask to assist you in creating the value proposition for your business:
- What specific problems do you solve?
- For whom do you solve them?
- What are the results you achieve?
Next, focus on the qualities that differentiate you from others who do what you do:
- Why you do what you do?
- Why should people work with you?
By answering these questions honestly, you will identify the key factors which differentiate you from your primary competitors.
Creating a Value Proposition – Challenging but Rewarding
As a coach, I know that all processes begin with self-awareness. This is a process during which you are determining how you want you and your business to be remembered by others.
Creating a value proposition is a challenging but highly rewarding process. Engaging in this process will help you to grow and develop your business.
I encourage you to begin the process now! Commit to creating a value proposition that represents the best that both you and your business have to offer.