What is a ‘value proposition’?
‘Value proposition’ is a technical marketing term that simply means your offer to the market, ie how you communicate your value to clients and prospects.
Value propositions typically have seven elements, all beginning with ‘P’:
Product (or service): what you do, the business you’re in.
People: your industry sector, the businesses and people you work best with.
Problem: the pain or problem you remove for those people.
Place: where you operate best, eg geographically, transaction type, area of expertise.
Promise: the benefits/value they get when they work with you.
Price: what you charge (the relationship between Price and Promise must be clear and compelling).
Positioning: where you sit relative to your competitors and how your prospects perceive you, eg are you high-end/premium or mid-market? Positioning is also about the topics that you’re known for taking a strong position on.
Why should every business nail their value proposition (VP)?
Because without a clear VP you can’t communicate value, and without communicating value your business won’t last very long.
Nailing your VP influences everything you say to the outside world — to clients, prospects, partners, supporters, suppliers, potential joiners. It also determines your elevator pitch: the 30-second sound bite should be the core of your VP.
I’ve done this in our own business. At Scott Keyser, the first thing I say is
“I’m a bid and communications consultant who show people how to use language to get the results they want”
Crack your VP and you crack all your comms. It’s the rocket fuel in your marketing engine.
Your VP is also the cornerstone of your business development strategy and plan. It governs where you direct your BD resources and how you go about winning business.
How do I help?
I do a health check on your VP by reviewing your external communications — what you say about yourself and how you say it. I also listen hard to what you say when someone asks you ‘What do you do?’ A-make-it-up-as-you-go-along elevator pitch usually means you haven’t nailed your value proposition.
Most organisations take ages to develop their VP, by which time the market has moved on. I do it in a day (with a bit of pre-work). Alongside your senior managers, I drill into all seven Ps, nail your VP and help you create a compelling 30- and 60-second elevator pitch. You come out of the workshop all comms blazing.