A Value Proposition helps a would-be client, customer, member, donor, or volunteer (I’ll call them buyers) answer one very important question, “What’s in it for me if I do what you want me to do?”
It doesn’t matter whether we’re buying a computer, hiring a sales rep, retaining a consultant, making a donation, investing in a CRM system, or deciding on a restaurant. Each decision we make weighs the pros and cons from a personal point of view. It might happen without much conscious thought. But it definitely happens. You might not be thinking consciously about, "What's in it for me?" when you make a donation, however, you have your reasons for choosing one cause over another and I guarantee at least one of those reasons is very personal.
Why is it important?
Every day, we are presented with many different buying opportunities. In the absence of a compelling reason for selecting one opportunity over another, we’re left to figure out the relative merits for ourselves. Clearly, it’s in a seller's best interests to do everything possible to help a buyer make a favourable decision. And that process starts with having a clear, compelling Value Proposition.
Why, then, do so many organizations not have a clear, relevant, and compelling Value Proposition?
One study conducted by Hubspot reported that only 64% of businesses have one. Other studies suggest that less than 5% of companies have a useful Value Proposition.
Priorities are changing
The pandemic is causing many buyers to rethink what’s important to them. You might have had your eye on a big, super comfortable SUV when you were commuting 100 KM every day. But now that you're working from home you're wondering if you really want that much vehicle gathering dust in your garage. Maybe you can get by with what you've got or at least with something smaller. If this thinking is found to be widespread, SUV manufacturers will have to evaluate whether the Value Proposition that's embedded in their marketing campaigns will continue to resonate with buyers in the "next normal."
Perhaps nothing has changed for your business. Or perhaps yours is one of the fortunate few to be experiencing greater demand for your products or services. For a great many business organizations, however, the post-pandemic world is shaping up to be quite different from the one they've grown used to.
Is it time to consider your Value Proposition?
Truly useful Value Propositions have several things in common. They demonstrate a fundamental understanding of what matters to buyers. They clearly differentiate an organization, product, person, service, or cause from others. And they provide a compelling reason for buying, joining, donating or whatever the “ask” is.
Here are 5 questions to help you decide whether your Value Proposition needs attention:
Is it clear to employees and buyers?
Does it provide a compelling reason for buying what you’re selling?
Does it differentiate your "ask" from that of others in a similar space?
Is it as relevant now as it was before the pandemic?
Does it promise something you can deliver?
If your answer to any one of these questions is “No” or “I’m not sure,” now would be a very good time to revisit your Value Proposition.
If you’d like some help developing a value proposition that will matter to your success, check out our Defining Your Value Proposition workshop.