5 Questions For Tailoring Your Value Prop to Each Customer

We have been covering the six elements of sales encounter planning.  Regardless of the methodology or tools you use to plan each sales encounter, you should cover these six elements:

  1. Research
  2. Value Proposition
  3. Questions
  4. Advances
  5. Unexpected Value
  6. Agenda

In our last post we covered Client Research and this week we cover Value Proposition.

Value Proposition

This is your answer to “Why should this prospect see me?” It describes what about your offer is of benefit to your prospective client. It is the measurable value you bring.

Your Value Hypothesis

If you have not met with your prospect before, then you will have a value hypothesis or “best guess” as to what will benefit them.

How Are You Positioned With This Client?

Your value proposition is the primary factor that determines how you are positioned with this prospect.  At the minimum your value proposition should have a metric (a measurable performance indicator), a direction (does it increase it or lower it), and magnitude (how much it affects the metric).

During your planning stage here are the five things to consider regarding your value proposition:

  1. What tangible value can I bring to this client?  If you are unsure, what is your value hypothesis?
  2. What are the metrics that measure the value I bring?
  3. What is the magnitude of the value I bring?
  4. Why should this prospect see me now?
  5. What evidence do I have that I can help?

We’ve discussed the importance of your value proposition in previous posts.  What I want to do here is briefly disucss how to apply these in your planning process.

Tangible Value & Value Hypothesis

Props to author and mentor Michale Nick for coining the phrase “Value Hypothisis”.  What I recommend here is that you use the data you uncovered in the previous step to extrapolate what kind of value you might be able to deliver to this client.

For Example:  If your solution saves an average of $10,000 per year per physician, then multiply that $10,000 by the number of physicians your target organization has and extrapolate the value.  650 physicians * $10,000 = $6.5M in potential savings for that organization.

When you deliver your value proposition in your messaging DO NOT state that you can save them $6.5M.  Unless you’ve already met with them and done an analysis, you don’t know that yet.  So your language should be softer.  Use something along the lines of “…with your number of physicians we may be able to save up to $6.5M.”  Or an even better approach is to use a range:  “Other organizations with a similar number of physicians have saved between $4M to $7M per year.”

This wiggle room makes your value prop more belivable and disarms possible pushback and objections. 
If you don’t already know, then your goal here is simply to get a conversation going.  Make it easy to do that by keeping your claims belivable.

Do The Math

The key is here is to do the math using the information you’ve uncovered.  Your client will be impressed that you went to the effort to objectify their possible returns based on their unique data using the research you’ve done.  It communicates that you are professional and do your homework while showing the mechanism by which you arrived at your value prop.

Why Now?

Consider for a moment the urgency of your value proposition.  Of all the projects your client may take on right now, why should yours be at top of the list?

What Is Your Evidence?

Lastly, what evidence do you have that you can really deliver on your value proposition?  This is extremely important.  You must have evidence.  Ideally you want that evidence to come from a objective 3rd party resource.  Customers know that evidence is the hardest thing for a salesperson to fake.  Without solid 3rd party evidence you are just making claims.  And claims just slide off a customer like water slips off a duck’s back.  Any yahoo can make a claim.  What you need is solid proof that backs up your claim.

With this bit of planning completed, you’ll be prepared to have a valid business discussion with your client about why they should do business with you.  Your value proposition is the core foundation of all your messaging.  When you adapt it to this client, for this particular time, you magnify its impact ten fold while sending a loud message that you are a true professional.

Closing Tip:  Tailor your value proposition for each encounter.

Until next time!

James

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