It’s a fact of life: no one out there in your market has any interest in your products, your services, or your company. They don’t care what you offer. They really don’t. Instead, people are interested in THEIR business, in solving THEIR challenges, in learning new ways THEY can operate more effectively. Keep this in mind as it applies to every aspect of prospecting.
When looking for new business, the first thing you need is what’s called ‘a value proposition’. It’s a clear statement about the results customers get from using your product, service or solution.
Yet you’d be amazed how many salespeople and business owners don’t have such a value proposition and are unsure how to respond when somebody says, ‘what do you do?’.
Note the phrase ‘value proposition’ is not a very good description of what is going on – ‘results proposition’ captures it more accurately, however the phrase ‘value proposition’ is widely used in the sales world so we’ll stick with that.
How To Devise Your Value Proposition
What can you say that will make your prospect want to speak with you or meet with you?
To set the scene, here is a quick value proposition template:
‘We help X do Y, by doing Z’.
For example: we help lawyers and accountants boost their revenue, by providing them with a four-step negotiation structure.
For a more thorough approach you need to bring together a list of the most persuasive and believable reasons your prospects should want to find out more about what you do. It’s often a good idea to do this as a group exercise, perhaps in your next sales training session.
You can organise these reasons under four headings which are described by the WADE acronym.
‘W’ WHO do you work with – organisations like to know you understand their business and are familiar with their sector.
‘A’ What can you ACHIEVE for them – what can you solve – people buy solutions to problems. If you are able to quantify the results you achieve so much the better. 15% saving, or 20% increase.
‘D’ What is DIFFERENT about what you offer – what is your unique selling point?
‘E’ What is your supporting EVIDENCE to back up what you say.
You can strengthen any value proposition by including testimonials about the actual results you have achieved for your customers. Evidence of what you have done for others is always persuasive.
Once you have a list of these reasons, you can select which ones are relevant for a particular customer and weave them together. Your value statement can and will vary from customer to customer. Crafting a clear, compelling value proposition takes time, however it’s well worth putting in the effort.
The SCQA Method
Another useful value proposition template is the SCQA method, devised by Barbara Minto and explained in her book ‘The Minto Pyramid’. SCQA stands for Situation, Complication, Question, Answer.
Situation – describe the current situation.
Complication – describe the issue in the current situation.
Question – describe the question that arises in response to the issue.
Answer – suggest the answer to fix the issue.
For example: ‘Many companies rely on email marketing to produce new business leads, however open rates are falling everywhere. Which poses the question: how do we keep generating new leads? The answer lies in integrating telephone selling, email marketing and social media. This is what we specialise in.’
Could you come up with a something similar for your business?
Once you have crafted your proposition, you can use it on the telephone, face-to-face, on video calls, in emails and on your website to hook the prospect’s interest.
Learn more about LDL sales training.