Creating a compelling Value Proposition, or Value Statement, is crucial to reaching your ideal customer.
A value statement should be front and center of your webpage or blog. It should be printed on every piece of printed materials that you have. The value statement becomes the hub on which you build your entire marketing plan.
Let me give you an example. When I come to your web site, I should know if ‘this site is for me.’ A good value proposition draws me in and connects me to your brand. I should know what problem you solve and the words should talk to me as your ideal prospective customer.
Who is your customer?
You can’t sell to everyone or you won’t sell to anyone! This is a blunt statement, but I want to be up front about understanding your customer. You must understand the ‘ideal’ customer for your business. Who is the single person who is most likely to buy from your business?
- Are they more likely a male or female?
- Are they likely to live in a specific location?
- Are they likely to live in a house, apartment, condo or townhome?
- What is the income they most likely earn?
- What kind of activities do they participate?
- What kind of magazines do they read?
I could ask a bunch more questions, but hopefully you get the point. You should have a picture in your mind of your ideal customer. It should be singular and all of your marketing should talk to that one person. Yes, you will gain customers that are not that person, but by talking to one person you are likely to get more customers than trying to talk to everyone.
I know it sound contrarian: Focus on one person and get more customers. Yet, that is exactly how marketing works. The more you can talk to that one person, the more ‘one persons’ find your business.
What do they want?
Once you understand your customer, you must understand what they want. What problem do they want to solve and how can you help them solve it? I heard it best stated, “What keeps them up at night?”
If you can figure out what keeps your customers up a night and you can solve that problem, you will have a successful business.
- It may be an urgent need: car breaks down.
- It may be an unavoidable need: taxes are due every year.
- It may be an undesirable need: I have a squirrel in my attic.
If you can understand the needs of your ideal customer, you can talk to them in their words. It is not hard to find out what your customer needs and wants, but you must be willing to do the research. Look online in forums, Amazon, blogs, Facebook, etc.. and you will find a lot of information to help. Or, you can just ask them. Use surveys, questionnaires or talk to them in person. It is worth your time to understand the perceived needs of your customers.
How do you offer it differently?
We have an understanding of our customers and an understanding of what they need and want. Now, we have to communicate that we can help in a unique way. You may have heard of a USP, unique selling point. It is simply what you do differently than other companies.
I want to take a moment to help you get a grasp on this one. It is not how you are different, but what you do differently. You may have been in business “for over 20 years,” but time does not make you different. What makes you different is that you show up “on time, every time, guaranteed!”
Your selling point must take into consideration the customer and what they want. You must also take into consideration what your competition does. If they have a 24 hour service call, can you have a 12 hour service call? What would that mean to your customer and to the way you run your business?
The question you are trying to answer for your customer is, “Why should I buy this from you?”
Why should someone buy from you instead of all the other companies that do the same thing you do? People want solutions that are faster, automatic, safer, more thorough, etc. If you know your ideal customer, you know what they value and you can put together your value statement in a way that talks directly to them.
Putting it all together.
I have seen many webpages who really miss this point. I have a picture of a truck on that says “ecological solutions.” I have no idea what that company does or why I should call them. Ecological solutions could mean anything from planting trees to organic products to global warming. Their value statement does not help me want to do business with them.
A value proposition tells what you do, who you do it for and why they should buy from you.
We do THIS for THESE PEOPLE with THESE UNIQUE RESULTS.
I don’t want you to get too distracted by this, but make sure you speak the words that relate to your customers. Pay attention to the words you use. Do you offer a ‘safer’ product or a ‘more secure’ product? Those words communicate much differently to different people.
Here are few examples:
- Skillshare: Learning for Creators – Enroll in online classes to unlock your creativity.
- Campaign Monitor: Email marketing software for designers and their clients.
- Meeting Burner: Host your next webinar or meeting for up to ten people absolutely free.
Each of these statements tell you who they are marketing to, what they offer and what makes them different. Even the Meeting Burner tell us indirectly. You are a business who meets with multiple people.
Creating the statement.
Now it’s your turn. Create a value statement for your business. You may have to do some digging about your ideal customer, but don’t assume you know who it is unless you have good data to back it up. Then, firm up what problem you solve for that person and how you solve that problem better than anyone else.
You should be able to have all of that information in one sentence. Show it to a few customers and employees and ask them what they understand it to mean. If it works, run with it. It there is any confusion, work out the confusion to come up with a concise statement. When you have a clear statement post it on your webpage, front and center.
Just to let you know I practice what I preach, my business page is Digital Success Advantage. Right at the top of the page are these exact words: “We help small businesses leverage technology for business growth.” That is exactly what I love doing, helping small businesses learn the power of the digital age and how that technology can grow their business.
Feel free to share your values statement below this post. (BONUS: if you drop it into my contact form, I will give you a quick evaluation of your statement.)
Here are some other helpful training: