It is a great question. Many professional service businesses consider themselves as a commodity and have trouble trying to create a clear distinction from their competition. A good starting point is your value proposition and positioning statement.
How compelling is your value proposition?
Let’s start with what a value proposition actually is. I like the Wellesley Hills Group definition:
A value proposition is the collection of reasons why a person or company benefits from buying something.
These reasons can be many and may differ according to your client segment and product or service offering. Your value proposition is the collection of your clients’ reasons. How does your value proposition compare with your positioning statement? A positioning statement is a succinct and punchy version of your value proposition (if it can be shortened), so naturally you need to have your value proposition solved first.
We have all read and heard the uninspiring buzz words and marketing speak that are commonly used as positioning statements and in place of a unique value proposition. A good test is to say it to a client. If it feels wrong coming out, or they don’t get it, it is wrong. You need to speak to the client in the way they understand the value you provide, in the words they would use to describe it.
So what does a good value proposition contain?
First it needs to resonate, making sure the reader/listener understands that you help people just like them. It needs to differentiate, articulating the distinct value you can provide which makes you the logical and only choice. Finally it needs to substantiate, demonstrating through relative example/s how you have delivered similar value already for a similar challenge.
How can you articulate the value of what you actually provide?
This is the all important question with a simple answer. You need to ask your current clients, because value is in the ear of the listener.
What can you use it for?
You can use a version at networking events, prospective client meetings, on your website, social media profiles, in your print material and advertising campaigns or anywhere you have an opportunity with a potential client.
How you can help us right now
This is a hot topic for us right now as it is time to revisit our own value proposition. Here is where we ask for your help. We want to know what you think of us and we’ve created a simple 7 short question survey to do just that. It will take you only a few moments and will help us greatly. If we can return the favour let us know.