I was asked the other day by a reader to talk about value propositions. Their question:
talk about how to improve value propositions and their impacts on sales close.
Value propositions always come up in sales conversations. Value propositions are at the heart of every sales transaction. When people or companies buy something they are looking to gain value. They have an idea in their head of the value they will get for what they are going to buy. As sales people we propose value in the effort of educating prospects and helping them understand what they will get if they buy our product.
In my opinion there are only three ways you can affect the value proposition.
- Make a better product – at the end of the day, product is the ONLY way to improve a value proposition. A sales person can’t improve on a value proposition if the value doesn’t exist or if the product can’t support it. A value proposition is the output of the product. If you want to improve upon a value proposition, improve the product or solution.
- Delivery – this is where sales can make a difference. Just because the only way to improve a value proposition is through the product, sales people control how the value proposition is delivered. Understanding what to emphasize and when to emphasize a certain aspect of the products value is how sales wins. Delivering a value proposition is an art. It requires timing, positioning and finess. It’s critical to understand how and when to deliver it and what the desired outcome is. It has to connect and resonate with the customer immediately. It can’t be canned and it can be rehearsed. To improve the value of the value proposition, sales should work on delivery.
- Find the value proposition(s) value – value propositions change and are different for each customer. Connecting the most relevant and impacting product value proposition to the customers needs increases the probability of the sale. In most cases there is more than one value proposition. Value propositions can be personal, financial and political. Learning how to identify all the value a product or service can bring is key. Far too often time is spent on the primary value proposition leaving other, equally as important value untouched.
Product enhancements and changes is the only way to improve a value proposition. However sales has the ability to maximize a products value(s) by customer by buyer. Through analysis, discovery and knowledge, sales can deliver the most relevant value propositions. Sales can support their prospects and customers by clearly and precisely outlining what they will get by buying from them.
Value propositions are the fulcrum to the sale. Placed just right they tilt the sale to the buy side of the lever. Placed poorly and it tilts the sales to the “no” side of the lever. Value propositions help buyers overcome fears, concerns and objections. They are the trigger to the sale. When the value proposition is right the sale happens. When it isn’t, it won’t.
Get the value proposition right!