Why There is no Such Thing as One Value Proposition

No value, No sale, that seems pretty obvious, right?

Therefore, every company and sales organization busts its butt to create the almighty value proposition.

It makes sense don’t you think — or does it?

Too often, I see companies and sales organizations in search of the almighty value proposition, that one phrase or description that will make their product or service so obvious to buyers they will just jump out of their seat to get it. Here is the problem with that.  A value proposition isn’t a single phrase or description. A value proposition is dynamic and different and each environment requires a different value proposition. Companies need more than the one almighty value proposition.

The marketing value proposition requires a broad, compelling, overarching value that consumers and customers can, on their own, connect with quickly and relate to their unique situation.  A sales value proposition needs to be more tightly coupled with its targeted customers issues in mind. It has to deliver more value than pie in the sky marketing value proposition. Then, there is the opportunity or customer value proposition. The customer value proposition is the specific and identifiable value your product or service brings to that specific customers needs based on their unique environment — and guess what? That value proposition will be different for EVERY individual customer engagement. The marketing value proposition won’t work to close the deal, nor will your sales value proposition. Both will open the door, both can capture interest, but neither are going to be how you close the deal. The customer needs it’s own value prop.

To close the deal you have to distill the marketing and sales value propositions into actionable and measurable messages that promise change from your clients current state to a desirable future state. Your value has to be a clearly improved environment, triggered or enabled by whatever it is you are selling. If your customer value proposition isn’t doing that, you don’t have value and you aren’t going to get the sale.

Value propositions are critical — no value, no sale. But, they aren’t one size fits all and the closer you get to the customer the more they need to be customized, honed, and specific. In the end, their can be 100’s of value propostions your product or service enables and as a sales person it’s your job to find out which will have the greatest impact on the customer you are in front of today.


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