5 Reasons Value Props Pop or Flop
Do you want your value proposition to pop? They will pop if you write value propositions to resonate with the people you are talking to. When it resonates, they will say things like, “I need that!” or “Can you do that for me?” (Music to my ears.)
When you receive a response like that, it means you have identified your customer’s problem or an opportunity that is exciting to them, they understand it and they want it. It pops!
But sometimes you don’t hear that, and that’s when you know something is wrong with your value prop.
This is What Happens When Your Value Prop Flops
You get a blank stare when you use it.
You have to explain to your prospect why it’s “Win-Win.”
They say thing like, “I don’t need that.”
People walk right past your tradeshow booth.
Your calls and emails go unanswered.
Reasons Value Propositions Flop
1. Your value prop is seller-focused.
For value propositions to be effective they have to be outward-focused; ideally, customer-focused. If your value proposition is focused on your company or product and what it does, it is what a Lisa Dennis calls “Inside Out.” That means it is looking inward instead of outward. For value propositions to be effective they must be outward-focused; ideally, customer-focused. Value propositions that work focus on the problem or opportunity your customer has, then explains how you solve it and what is unique about that. They always start with the customer.
2. Your value prop doesn’t highlight true differentiators.
An effective value proposition differentiates you, your company and your products from all other solutions out there. The problem is that most companies can’t figure out what their differentiators are. One easy way to do that, short of asking your customers, is to imagine that you are giving your customers a list of strengths and after each one, they say, “So what? What does that do for me?” and then when you answer they say, “Prove it!” If it is something that is true of your company and not your competitors, and your customer cares about it, and you can prove it’s true, you have identified a differentiator. The “How we do it differently?” or “What is Unique about the way we solve your problem?”
3. Your value prop doesn’t focus on the buyers and their problems.
Customers are focused on problems and opportunities. They don’t care about your product unless it solves a problem for them. Most sales and marketing messaging is focused on product, features, and benefits. Customers are focused on problems and opportunities. Customers don’t care about your product or how it works unless it solves a problem for them or provides a critical opportunity. If they aren’t feeling real pain or don’t see real growth opportunities, then nothing you say about your product will resonate with them.
4. Your aren’t focused on your ideal customer.
Trying to make your solution the best solution for everyone is impossible. Instead, understand what specific needs your ideal customer has and focus your solution and value proposition on those needs. Your value proposition will pop when the customer sees themselves in your message. Be prepared to tell your prospect why your solution is designed for them, your ideal customer. Then you can easily differentiate your solution from all the others.
5. Your value prop hasn’t been personalized.
If your value prop doesn’t speak specifically to the problem your buyer needs to be solved, then it isn’t going to be effective. What matters to the CEO is different than what matters to the CFO or CMO, CSO etc. Very few value propositions are one-size-fits-all. If your messaging doesn’t speak specifically to the problem your buyer needs to be solved, then it isn’t going to be effective.
Writing Value Props that Pop
Your value proposition should start with your ideal customer’s problem in their words. Be careful to avoid features and focus on problems. Once you have stated the problem the way your ideal customers do, you can explain how you solve that problem. Then you can differentiate your solution by explaining why it is the best one for them, your ideal customer. This is where you differentiate yourself from the competition.
Simply stated, a value proposition that resonates and makes your prospects say, “Can you do that for me?”, sounds like this:
Customer problem in their words. How you solve it. Why you are the best solution for your ideal customer.
If you need help writing a value proposition that Pops, instead of one that flops, schedule a Value Prop Coaching Session.
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