Your customers don’t care about you they care about what you can do for them. If you don’t make it easy for your prospects to understand in an instant why they should engage and buy from you then you’ve probably lost them.
Here’s how to grab their attention and not lose them.
In my last post I talked about why it’s vital that you write clear and compelling value propositions. I outlined how these value propositions will help you, your people and your customers.
Now I want to focus on how to write compelling value propositions for your customers because it’s these value propositions that become the foundation of your marketing messages.
If you don’t get these value propositions right for your customers then they won’t know why they should engage and buy from you instead of from your competitors.
To recap – a value proposition extols the value you deliver, the benefit you bring. These values and benefits are what your customers are interested in. They care about what’s in it for them.
We’ve all seen presentations from companies that start out telling you their history, their size and which big names they service. Some of this might be useful background when making a final choice between two providers. But it’s not what will initially attract a prospect.
They don’t care about this stuff – they don’t care how long you’ve been in business and how it’s grown since starting out as a family-run business decades past.
They don’t care about you; they care about what you can do for them.
Your value propositions become the basis of your marketing messages that not only need to grab a prospect’s attention but grab it quickly. In this noisy world we live in you only have a few seconds to make them stop and give you a second look.
Understand your different customers’ needs and write as many value propositions and messages as you can that meet those needs. Do this well and you will attract your ideal customers and make it far easier for them to choose you over your competitors.
People always buy with some degree of emotion. Identify the emotions behind the reasons to buy your products or services and if you can overcome a negative emotion that’s far more powerful that enhancing an already positive one.
For example, parents of a baby don’t buy a car seat that is a little lighter to carry or that looks nice. That might come later. Their first concern will be the safety of the baby and the car seat’s ability to protect it. Overcoming that concern or fear (negative emotions) is far more powerful than any nice-to-have enhancement.
Whatever these emotions are, your value propositions need to overcome or enhance them.
Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes and think about what message would make you stop and want to look further at your offering. What are the specific benefits and what emotions could your offering address?
For example, an accountant shouldn’t promote their expertise in tax law and in making sure you submit accurate figures – that’s what they do and should be a given.
The benefit is in taking away the time, stress and uncertainty that comes with doing your own accounts and with hoping you’ve got them right. So a big emotional benefit is alleviating stress and uncertainty.
An accountant’s set of value propositions should address these emotions and others including the need to protect your business by keeping it on the right side of the law.
When developing your value propositions, ask the question, “So what?” And ask it as a potential customer. Asking the question forces you to think of other ways to state it. And don’t forget…think like your customers.
Say something that is good about your product and service then say (or get a colleague or friend to say) “So what?” Then you follow with. “Well, that means….” “So what?” And so on until you have a concise and clear benefit that a client will relate to and appreciate.
For example, here’s a typical value proposition…what do you think? “We provide world-beating anti-virus, anti-spam and firewall software for your PC.” Acme Software Inc.
It sounds reasonable, yes? In fact it sounds along the lines of how most companies promote themselves and their products. So what’s wrong?
Firstly, it tells you what they do. Does it inspire you? Does it stand out from other security software providers? Do you feel any emotional attachment? Not really. Will you remember it? Probably not.
Let’s try again…“We provide world-beating anti-virus, anti-spam and firewall software for your PC.”
“Well that means… We keep your PC safe.”
It’s definitely an improvement because I can picture my PC and I want the information on it to be safe. But keep going with the, “So what?” question until you feel you cannot improve it anymore.
Eventually, you may come up with something like “Well that means… We protect your privacy.” Now, that definitely gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling and is a value proposition that would stay with me far more than the first one.
Don’t use your value propositions to simply show-off how great your products are, how many offices you have around the world or how big your clients are – no one really cares. Develop them with your customers in mind, make sure the benefits to your customers are instantly understood and make them inspirational. And keep asking, “So what?”
This is also a good exercise to carry out with someone outside of your company, someone who is detached from it and who will be less likely to agree with you just because you’re the boss. You’ll have to work harder to really pinpoint the benefit of your offering but if this outsider gets it, it’s more likely others will too, including your prospects.
I’ve done this with a number of clients and a little frustrating though it can be during the process, the results really are worth it.
What Difference Do You Make?
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