When I am working with clients who have a product or service they are trying to sell, I always begin with two questions…
1. What’s your Value Proposition?
2. Is your Value Proposition clearly stated and easily understood?
The answers are critical to the long term success and sustainability of a business.
The Value Proposition is what’s in it for the potential customer… it’s the value that you are proposing they will get.
Think about it this way… What need are you fulfilling? What solution are you offering? What pain are you relieving? What are you giving them in exchange for their money and/or time, and is it worth it (to them for the exchange)? And… how can you state that in a clear, simple, succinct way that will get their attention immediately?
It plays off an understanding of the WIIFM Factor – What’s In It For Me?
But here’s one of the most important parts…
You are not your customer.
Many times our own Curse of Knowledge can get in the way of being able to see or understand what our REAL Value Proposition is or should be in relationship to who we are trying to sell too. It’s hard but necessary to step out of our own shoes and into theirs (“theirs” being our potential customers). You must remove any emotional attachment that you might have (because it’s your baby) and see it through the eyes of someone new.
As I watched this intriguing “Web Tips” video with Chris Brogan and Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, I was reminded yet again of the significance of the Value Proposition, especially when you are trying to convert online visitors into online buyers or members… but the principles hold true regardless of what action you are trying to get someone to take. Even if you are simply trying to build a following and get more blog or RSS subscribers… go watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.
Do yourself a favor and spend some time with your offerings and see if the Value Proposition is there and if it’s clear enough and compelling enough to elicit a response. One thing is for sure… if it’s not, you’ll know because you won’t be getting the return on your investment like you had hoped (but that can be turned around, IF your Value Proposition becomes your emphasis).