You don’t have a business if you don’t have a clear value proposition. So What is your Business Value Proposition?
Businesses exist to solve clients’ or specific client’s problems – this is your value proposition. Your competitive advantage is how your business solves that problem for a specific client segment (see Business Systems Theory).
If your business does not solve a problem for your client, then chances are it is not a viable business. This is also the case if it doesn’t solve that problem in a way that means your clients will choose your solution over other options.
What is your Business Value Proposition?
Amongst the key questions that every business owner should ask themselves regularly are:
- What is my business value proposition?
- Am I communicating my business value proposition?
You need to be clear with the first question. Business owners are often natural salespeople; sometimes the person we sell best to is ourselves, i.e. we buy our spiel. One way we do this is by convincing ourselves that our value proposition is better than it is or that it is broader than it is. Just because we think we can do something doesn’t mean that the market will buy it from us.
Trying to do to much will weaken your value proposition, as will trying to do it for too many people. Your value proposition resonates highest with a particular client segment. Others also get parts of it (often enough to purchase), but one segment ‘really gets it’. Trying to sell it to the wrong groups devalues it for the target group.
When people are not buying your product or service or trying to negotiate you down or adjust your offering, it means that you are not communicating your value proposition effectively enough, or, you are talking to the wrong people (I will deal with this next week).
Just looking at your communication – do your clients quickly understand what you are offering them, what problem it solves and how it is better than other options? If not then this is where you should start making changes.
Sometimes it is just that we are assuming too much from the prospect or using jargon or poor information, sometimes, we have just delivered the value proposition poorly. If you have the right client in front of you and can’t articulate your value proposition effectively, this will be disastrous long term.
Value propositions can be weak or strong. Remember the analogy about the headache tablet versus the vitamin. One is a must-have and the other is a nice to have. Ideally, your value proposition should be a must have, at least for your target clients.
So spend a little time answering these questions for yourself and then share with someone you can discuss it with for some direct feedback. If it is weak, then here is a great opportunity to improve.
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