In order to be able to consistently impress leads, it is critical to effectively communicate the value thatyou have to offer. This is something that can be difficult and this ebook will give you a process that will helpyou to build your best value proposition.
What Is Value? Value is to the transfer of something from one party to another that has a positive net worth. The tricky thing with figuring out how to explainthe value you offer is that it is an intangible attribute, meaning It is not something you can see or pick up. Value is something that is transferredevery day at a personal level between family and friends. For example,when you bring humorto a group or conversation and make someone laugh, you are providing value as you are improving the conversation. Other examples of delivering value at a personal level may be teaching someone something, being a good listener, providing security, or making someone’s life easier. In all of these examples, you are contributing something that is intangible with a positive net worth to another person. Once you understand how you offer value at a personal level, you can better understand how you deliver value at a business level.Just as you canimprove the lives and interactionswith friends and family, you can also contribute value to your clients and you do this by making things work better, helping them to save or make money,and helping them to achieve more. One important thing to start to get your hands around is that value is not the same thing as the product that you provide. Value is what your product helps your clients to do or what it helps them to achieve.
Three Levels of Value The value that you deliver can typically impact your clients on three different levels technical, business, and personal.
1. Technical Value At the lowest level,you offer technical value. These are the benefits and improvements that you candeliver that make things work better and are realized in areas like processes, systems, and people. Here are some examples of delivering value at the technical level:
· Helpinga business to save time · Automating certain manual tasks · Improving the performance of system,processes, or people · Improving the reliability of system, processes, or people 2. Business Value As a business beginsto realize value at the technical level, those benefits will work their way up and create value at the business level. This value can be seenin areas like of revenue, costs, and services. Here are some examples of businesses realizing value at the business level:
· Increases in revenue · Market share growth · Improvement in close rate · Decrease in cost of goods sold · Decrease in inventorycost · Decrease in labor costs · Improvement in customersatisfaction · Decrease in product delivery time
3. Personal Value The technical and business value that we deliver can continueto work its way up and impact clients at a personal level. Personal value can be seen in areas like income, career, and work environment. Here are some examples of prospects realizing value at the personal level:
· Increases in bonusesor commissions · Improved probability for promotion · Performancerecognition · Decrease in workload · Decrease in stress level · Improve work/life balance Increased bonuses, commissions Recognition and promotions Decreased/increased workload Improve revenue/markshare/close rate Decrease cost of goods sold/laborImprove delivery of servi Three Levels of Value Personal Value • Income • Career • Workload
Business Value • Revenue • Costs • Services
• Processes • Systems • People
Why Value Is Important? Now that you understand a little more about what exactly value is, let’s discuss why it is so important.
Grab the Prospect’s attention First, in any sales setting, it is critical to get the prospect’s attention and by shifting from talking about your products to talking more about the value that you have to offer will help with this. One reason for this is that you will be communicating in a language that is closer to one that the prospect understands. To elaborate on that a bit, when you talk about your products or services, you lean toward speaking in a language that you understand very well as you live and breathe this stuff. Not only have you likely gone through product training, but you are also exposed to this stuff every day.
Yet this language or topic might be a little foreign to the prospect and as result, they may be a less engaged when that is all that you talk about. But when you focus on the technical, business, and personal benefits that you offer, you will shift to a language that the prospect is more familiar with and, as a result, there is a great chance for you to grab his attention and create a more engaging conversation. In addition, when you focus more on value, you shift from talking about your company and your products, which is a very “all about me” conversation and you shift more toward talking about the prospect and their interests and needs. We are all a little self-serving and by keeping the conversation more on the prospect and less on you can help make the prospect more involved and attentative. Another thing to keep in mindwith trying to get and keep the prospect’s attentionis that when they answer a cold call, they are most likely not in shopping mode. This is a safe assumption because the prospect is likely not sitting there thinking about purchasing what you have to offer at the particular time that he answers your call.
As result, when you focus solely on your products, you might not talk about something that they care about at that particular moment. But if you focus on the value that you have to offer, you increase your odds of talking about something that he is interested in and, as a result, you are more likely to grab his attention.
Improve the Impression you make.
When you are able to focus more on value,you are likely to give off a much better impression to the prospect. This is because many of the other sales professionals will be primarily talking about their products and services and you will immediately standout from the pack and seem more knowledgeable and polished as you are aware of the value that you offer and the value that the prospect cares about.
Build Interest We’ve talked about how communicating value will help to grab the prospect’s attention. That is great but at some point you will need to take that from having his attention to having their interest and incorporating value into what you discuss will help you to be more effective at this. You can have the best technology available, but if you do not communicate what that means to the prospect in terms of value, you might not trigger any interest.
Identifying Your Value The first step with improving your ability to communicate value is to clearly identify the value that you have to offer. Here is a step-by-step process that you can go through to map out your value:
Step 1: Identify a product or service that you offer Identify a product or service thatyou sell. If you want to get more granular with this exercise or if you only sell one product, you could use one of the features of your product in this step.
Step 2: Identify what your product does Try to write out a quick description about what your product does from a functional standpoint. One sentence that explains what takes place in very simple language is sufficient for this exercise.
Step 3: Identify how your product helps at a technical level When a customer or client uses your product, how does this help them at the technical level? Remember that these are the improvementsthat you help to create in areas like processes, systems, and people. Think about how your product might help those areas and try to put togetherone sentence that describes that. This is the technical value that you offer.
Step 4: Identify how your product helps at a business level The next step is to identify how the technical value that you identified will work its way up and impact the client from a business standpoint. When the technical improvements begin to take shape, how will that impact the business? Think about areas like revenue, costs, and services. Try to write one sentence that summarizes these business improvements. This is the business value that you offer.
Step 5: Identify how your product helps at a personal level The technical and business value that you offer can lead to improvements at a personal level for your clients. Try to think about how these improvements will impact a client in the areas of income, career, and work environment and try to formulate a brief sentence that describes possible improvements. This is the personal value that you offer.
Step 6: (optional) repeat for other products What you just outlined may give you enough value points to work with when trying to improve the way you communicate the value you have to offer. If you want to continue the exercise and be more thorough, you can go through steps 1 through 5 again for other products, services, or features that you sell.
Step 7: (optional) Summarize to arrive at core value If you add additional products, you are going to come up with a number of different statements that describe what you do and how you help. This is good information but will likely be too much to share when interacting with prospects during a cold call.
One step that you can take to help with that is to group all of the technical, business, and personal points together and then try to summarize or group them together to get to single statements that quickly explain what the core technical, business, and personal value that you offer is.
If there is not a real good way to summarize, you can pick one of the individual points that is either dominantor more attention grabbing. These summary points becomethe core value that you offer.
Create a Value Statement Now that you have identified descriptions that detail the value that you have to offer, you can take those and create a value statement.
A value statement is a sentence that cleanlyand concisely summarizes the value that transfers from you to your clients when they use your products or services. An example of a short value statement is
“We help companies to improve sales rev- enue from new clients and we do this by improving the areas of prospecting and cold calling.”
This statement is brief, clearly explains the value that we have to offer, and can be easily rattled off early in a cold call orconversation.
Common Pitfalls with Value Statements Whether they realize it or not, many sales peopleautomatically add in some sort of value statement to their pitch. However, sometimes what we think is a value statement can end up off-track by falling into some common pitfalls.
The Ole Company Description One of the most common challenges with value statements that naturally roll off of the tongue is that they can often turnout to be more of a company introduction statement. For example,
“I am with XG Corp. We are a global company and we provide the most advancedoffice printers on the market.”
This is not a value statement.This is more of a company description statement stating where the company operates, what it sells, and how the sales person perceives that their products match up against the competition. This statement does not tell theprospect the benefits they stand to gain by doing business with the company that sales person represents.
A prospect who receives a cold call and is currently not looking to make a purchase will likely notcare that the company calling them is a global company and that it may have the best product on the market. Too Focused on Products and Features Another pitfall that may occur with value statements is that we can often focus on talking about our products and features when we are trying to describe the value that we have to offer. For example, “I am with Secure Site and we provide ultra-sensitive motion detection equipment.” This statement is informative, but it does not include any of the value that is offered. Falling into this trap is very understandable. As sales people,we often know our products and features inside and out, and we can get easily excited about an opportunity to talk about them. But when we do not include or focus on the value that we offer, we may end up not grabbing the prospect’s attention or talking about what he ultimately cares about.
Getting too Fancy One last thing to be careful of is that it can be easy to get too fancy with the value statement by using large, sophisticatedwords. For example,
“We are theindustry leading provider of pipe connectionsolutions. Our cutting edge solutions help to unify ven-tricular flows to optimize strategic liquid placementand transportation.”
What??? This value statement definitely communicates some of the value offered and this might be great language for a brochure or website. But the value statements that we are building here are typically delivered verbally in sales situations. When you use words like “industry leading” and “optimizes trategic liquid placement”, you begin to sound a little too rehearsed and that can decrease your level of authenticity.
Value Statement Templates
The following are templates that allow you to take the individual value points that you produced and easily just insert them into the template to produce a variety of value statements.
Short and Sweet
We help [Insert whom you help—business, individuals, law firms,hospitals, HR managers, etc.] to [insert technical, business or personal value]. Examples “We help doctor’s offices to decrease the rate of patient no-shows.”
“We help small businesses to improve their revenue from new clients.”
“We help VP’s of sales to improve their overall annual commissions.”
Connect Technical Value with Business Value
We help[Insert whom you help]to [inserttechnical value] and this typically leads to [insert business value]. Examples “We help businesses to manage their sales pipeline better and this typically leads to a higher close rate andsales revenue.” “We help IT departments to improve their visibility across their IT infrastructure and this can typically lead to better delivery of business services.” “We help businesses to improve their ability to effectively manage their inventory levels and this often leads to a decrease in cost of goods sold.”
Connect Business Value with Technical Value
We help[Insert whom you help]to [insertbusiness value]and do this by [insert technical value]. Examples “We help businesses to grow their new logo clients and do this by improving their outbound sales activities.” “We help IT manufacturing companies to decrease labor costs and do thisby helping them to improve their ability schedule re-sources.” “We help operations managers to improve their managementof their P&L and do this by providing real-time materials reporting.” Connect the Product with Value
We provide [Insertyour product] and thishelps [Insert whomyou help] to [insert technical, business, or personal value]. Examples “We provide inventory management software and this helps businesses to control and decrease their cost of goods sold.” “We provide custom cabinets and this helpshomeowners to design a kitchen that they are sure to be happy with.” “We provide IT outsourcing services and this helps businesses to improve the reli- ability of their internal IT services.”
When to Use a Value Statement
Once a value statement is created,you can use it at many different times duringthe sales cycle. Whetheryou are cold calling prospects,or delivering presentations, or putting together proposals, there are many different times where you can improve your effectiveness by being able to clearly and concisely communicate the value that you have to offer.
When trying to improve cold calling results, if you deliver your value statement at the beginning of the call when you introduce yourself, you can not only improve your ability to get the prospect’s attention,but you will also be telling them why she should spend the next two to five minutes talking with you.
The very first sale that you need to close is trying to sell the prospect on stopping what they are doing to take a brief cal lfrom you. And a good value statement will improve your results in closing that first mini-sale.