How to define your value proposition

The company you’re pitching to wants to know one fundamental thing: what their return on their investment in awarding your business the contract will be. That means it’s critical that your value proposition (VP) is clearly defined. It also must be communicated right throughout your pitch, as well as being summarised in the Executive Summary. Here’s how to go about it.

Your VP should encompass no more than four key points that are of real value to the prospect. These are the messages that must be clear throughout your pitch because they’ll demonstrate just how well you’re going to fulfil your prospect’s needs. Don’t forget to tailor your VP for each pitch.

BIG HINT: If you can’t articulate your VP in under 10 seconds, it’s too complicated.

Step 1: Identifying the prospect’s pain

Research your prospect. What ‘pain’ are they experiencing that only your business can resolve? Do they need to introduce new systems or technology? A new product line? Is their productivity suffering? Are they looking to improve efficiency? You must establish a clear idea of what they want you to do.

Step 2: What does the prospect want to achieve?

Next, you must define the prospects desired outcomes. How have they measured success previously and how will they define success for this project? Do they have in place appropriate KPIs? Establish how success will be communicated and to whom.

Step 3: Quantify the value only your business will bring

Broadly speaking, there are three levels of pain relief your product or service can deliver:

  • C-suite, bigger picture issues – including improving profits, cutting operating costs, improving cash flow, gaining greater market share and introducing new whole-of-business systems or technologies.
  • Tactical value – including improving operational efficiencies and quality, introducing best practice, enhancing reputation. Reducing errors and downtime are also often on the agenda.
  • Personal concerns – the final decision makers want to appear heroic by choosing your business as the one who can help theirs.

Now you know what the prospect wants to achieve at whatever level, put some numbers around the outcomes you’ll deliver – think percentages, money, time. An important piece of the VP jigsaw, this will make it strongest, so make sure to include evidence of how you’ve done this for other companies.

SUPER IMPORTANT: Whatever your VP is, it absolutely must:

  • Resonate by connecting at an emotional level with the prospect. Get them thinking, ‘We need this.’
  • Differentiate by being clearly different from your competitors. Get them thinking, ‘No one else has this. We need this.’
  • Substantiate by demonstrating the results you’ve achieved for other organisations. Get them thinking, ‘They really can deliver. Just look at what they’ve done for XYZ. We need this.’

For help with copywriting, proofreading or editing any of your business documents, contact Proof Communications on 02 8036 5532 or 0411 123 216 or head to the contact page.

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