I will make him an offer he can’t refuse
It’s been 38 years since this quote from the famous Don Vito Corleone became etched in our lives. We have used it in multiple interactions. Yet, we fail to carry this thought in our business. Yet we fail to invest our time thinking about what is that one offer which our customer can’t refuse.
We all crib whenever we lose a client to a rival company. But, how many times do we question ourselves why that happened? What additional value were we giving to the client?
On the surface of it, all of this looks simple and straight-forward, but, as many top CEOs, Marketers, and Businessman would agree with me, identifying your unique value is the toughest and the most critical part of your marketing strategy.
What is a Unique Value Proposition?
A value proposition, in simple terms, is what makes your company’s products and services special in this competitive marketplace. It is what makes your customer trust you over all other options.
It could be “years of experience”, “number of certifications”, “industry focus”, “functional expertise”, “customer support”, “speed and quality of implementation” etc. These are usually things your customer looks at while he is considering different vendor options.
If there is something that your customer values and your organization is able to provide it, then there is no reason why you won’t be getting that next project.
How do you craft a Unique Value Proposition?
Crafting a Unique Value Proposition requires you to have an in-depth understanding of your business and the environment you are operating in. You should know what your customers are looking for and what differentiates you from your market.
This is how a Unique Value Proposition looks like:
“Microsoft has been certified as the most secure database over last seven years, but there is new innovation in SQL Server 2016, that is cutting edge – specifically the ability for data to be encrypted while “at rest” or “in transit”.
Understanding that data security is a major issue, Microsoft focuses on key points that helps it differentiate from the market.
So, how do you go about crafting a unique value proposition for your products/services?
To create one, you should look at it from multiple dimensions:
- What makes you unique versus the competition?
- How many years of experience do you have?
- What unique skills do you have?
- What relevant competencies do you have?
- Do your employees have required certifications?
- What industries do you service/specialize in?
- Are you particularly good at working with certain functions?
- Are there professional organizations that you are partnering with?
- Have you won any awards in your space?
If you are also in the services business, consider these dimensions as well:
- What is unique about your customer service?
- What types of training do you provide?
- What type of support do you give to the customer?
Answering these questions helps you identify where you stand vis a vis your competition.
This is how Blue-Granite, a Microsoft partner communicates its value. Hovering over each of the tiles, you get to see the number of each of these titles.
Drafting your Unique Value Proposition
Once you have identified your unique values, you need to draft it in a way which easily resonates with your prospects. You need to identify words/phrases which your audience would want to read.
A great way in which you can do that is by asking your team members to write 2-3 lines about your company individually. You can then get everyone together to re-draft it by taking words and phrases from each version.
Smart tip: Do not use technical jargon. Instead, use simple plain English while focussing on the benefits rather than the features. Write from a prospect’s point of view.
You can fill the below blanks to check if your value proposition resonates with your prospects:
- ___________ (product or service) from ___________ (your company name) solves my problem(s) by ___________ (explain what the product/service does for them)
- It improves my situation because ___________ (Explain how your product is relevant to your customer)
- If I work with this company, I will benefit ___________ (Try to quantify the value the customer receives)
- I should work with this company and not with others because this company ___________ (Unique differentiation)
- I am happy to accept this offer because I feel ___________ (Core desires that are touched)
Some Examples of Unique Value Proposition!
Finally, here are some examples of how companies communicate the value proposition of their products and services to their prospects:
Amazon’s Simple Storage Service
If you go to the product page of Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, the text reads like this:
“Amazon S3 is object storage built to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere – websites and mobile apps, corporate applications, and data from IoT sensors or devices. It is designed to deliver 99.999999999% durability, and stores data for millions of applications used by market leaders in every industry. S3 provides comprehensive security and compliance capabilities that meet even the most stringent regulatory requirements.”
It focuses on key points which are the biggest concerns of its target audience i.e. variability, durability, and security. Finally, it includes proof points to go along with the value proposition.
This is how Zoho CRM’s website looks like. As you can see, their key focus is on:
- Simplification from day one
- Enterprise-ready package
Crafting the unique value proposition is the foundational element of any activity be it sales, marketing or human resource management. It can help you guide your efforts to identify the best prospects, close a deal, create offers, guide the messaging on your website or train your employees.
What is your unique value proposition? Please comment below