Go to any networking group and you’ll hear lots of elevator pitches along the lines of…
“I’m an accountant”, or “I provide finance”, “I help you with your social media presence”, “I create websites” or “I provide managed IT services”.
These are all descriptions of what they do.
Not one provides a compelling value proposition, a clear, outcome based statement of the tangible results a customer gets from your product or service.
Given their descriptions, I don’t know how I could benefit, so why would I bother listening further?
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you must develop a strong value proposition that cuts through, immediately generating interest from your prospect.
Do your research. Talk in terms of outcomes they’re looking for. Pain and gain. What they could save. What they could make. Could be time, money, effort.
The more specific the better.
Don’t use motherhood statements like quality, reliability, professionalism, customer service.
Don’t say things like:
“Ours is the most technologically advanced system on the market.”
“Our system was voted best of breed in our class.”
“We improve leadership capacity in organisations.”
“We do sales training.”
It’s all meaningless. It doesn’t differentiate you from your competition. And as a buyer, I’d see no reason to take action.
So what should you do instead?
Create a pitch which strongly articulates the outcomes and value your clients will receive when working with you.
Include as many tangible benefits as possible. Intangibles are fine too. Just realise most people won’t be swayed by them.
Here some examples we created for our clients:
A Financial Planner – “I work with clients preparing to go into aged care minimise their Bond and Daily Care Fees, while maximising their benefits from Centrelink, potentially saving themselves thousands of dollars a year.”
An Investment Property Buyer – “In buying property you make your money on the way in. We help our clients find, negotiate and settle on undervalued property – so they make money right from the start. On average we secure property at $15,000 – $20,000 below market value – so you get an immediate return on your capital investment which continues to grow long term.”
A construction company – “We guarantee your project will come in at the cost we quote, on time and with exceptional build quality that will last.”
A Digital Photographic Lab who’s clients are professional photographers who spend huge amounts of time in post production and just want their lives back!
“We guarantee your physical prints will exactly match your captured images with no additional work on your part or 110% of your money back.”
Tell a story like this one from a software developer.
“Our program manages car parking spaces and just saved a client over $37,000 in Fringe Benefits Tax which is seven times the initial $5K investment. Another client had a 30x ROI. They invested $40K to save $1.2M per year.”
Now that’s a great value proposition.
Being more specific and detailing tangible benefits wherever possible gets attention and encourages your prospects to ask for more information.
It has another side benefit too.
A strong, tangible value proposition helps you value your own product or services more. It builds self-confidence. You can pick up the phone, or write to a prospect knowing that you do add value and should at least be given a hearing.
Now, some of you might be stuck coming up with your value proposition. Often we’re just too close to what we do and minimise the value.
The best solution? Ask your clients.
Call them up and ask what value you provide. What are the benefits? What did you help them avoid (pain) or gain (desire)?
You might be surprised at what they come up with.
Some of you might be embarrassed to make the call. If so, we provide a client interview service you can read about here.
And finally, you might wonder what our own value statement is.
“Businesses that work with us have increased revenue and profit by 200% to 300% within 2 to 3 years. They attract higher value clients who spend over 300% more per transaction and stay longer.
Real examples include the property buyer above who went from charging $3,000 to $9,900 per transaction and actually increased their deal flow.
Or the leadership coach who increased his fees from $23,000 to $75,000 and now locks clients into a 3 year deal with no pushback from new prospects.”
So if you’re still using the boring descriptor type elevator pitch, stop.
Work out your value proposition and articulate clearly. You won’t look back.
Rashid & Barbara.