By Stacy Zemon, Publisher & Chief Scribe
From Creating Your Value Proposition
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When talking about your products and services, your message may sound to prospects as “This is what I sell, and I am running through a long list of the reasons why I think you should buy everything I tell you about.”
What people want to hear, however, is a clear statement that demonstrates that you understand their situation – that you recognize the problem they wish to solve, or the outcome they wish to achieve – followed by a specific offer or explanation as to how you are going to help them address their situation.
Ideally, the value proposition will not only explain how engaging your services will allow the prospect to achieve a desired outcome; it will also explain how it is that your business is uniquely positioned to create that outcome.
To maximize the effectiveness of your value proposition, you must go beyond typical statements of product or service benefits, and drill down into precisely what outcome the potential client is looking to achieve, and how it is that your product and service will help them achieve it.
Focus On Your Prospects’ Needs
The most important guiding principle for creating a compelling, client-focused value proposition is this: the value proposition should focus on client needs, not on product or service features.
To put it another way, do not simply explain the products and services you sell, or embellish their features. Instead, detail the benefits to the client of owning your products or retaining your services.
Once you establish the benefits, your value proposition can then go on to explain how it is your services and products address those objectives and, where possible, provide testimonials that backs up your claim(s).
Defining Features and Benefits
Features are the qualities or characteristics of your products, services and business. Benefits are the favorable results (value/solutions) that someone obtains from choosing your company.
To understand the benefits of the features you offer, think in terms of your prospect’s needs and fears. To sell effectively, you need to be able to:
- Provide an answer to problems that people have or fear happening.
- Represent the means of attaining their desires.
- Inspire confidence in the quality of the solution. people perceive as offering a value greater than the cost.
Bearing this in mind, the flow of your sales presentation should be to:
- Listen to what your prospect wants and doesn’t want.
- Describe the features of your company and their corresponding benefits
- Clearly explain how you can ensure that his/her pain points will be removed and emotional needs will be fulfilled.
As you go through this process, be sure to use language the prospect has used and provide indications along the way that you really listened well.
The more benefits you offer clients and emotional needs you can meet, the less important price becomes because now we are talking about VALUE. The greater your value, the higher price you can command.
Here’s another way to look at this subject. Features are the indisputable facts about your product or service. Benefits are the advantages your product or service offers.
For example, a feature may be that you have been in business since 1997. The benefit related to this feature is that you have developed a strong reputation in your marketplace, and have lots of experience.
Features and benefits are the cornerstones of the value-building process. This is because features and benefits influence purchasing decisions. It is difficult to be effective in sales without a mastery of your product knowledge.
In addition, linking a feature with a benefit is a powerful tool you can use to communicate what you can do for your prospects in a memorable, compelling, and persuasive way.
Developing a powerful and tangible value proposition will set you apart from the competition and entice your prospects to it is more important than ever to ensure that when you have the attention of a potential client, you are able to offer a compelling reason for doing business with you.