Two Reasons Your Value Proposition Has No Value

It’s called an elevator pitch, a 30 second commercial and a value proposition.    Whatever you choose as a name, the goal is the same:  deliver a statement that quickly engages your prospect’s interest and desire to continue a sales conversation.

Value propositionValue propositions are one of the most important selling tools a sales organization can develop and hone.  A poorly crafted value proposition quickly leads to a ‘what’s your price or we already have a resource’ objection.   Unfortunately, there are a lot of mediocre value propositions being used by salespeople, e.g., “We have a national footprint, we do this, this and this.”

Here are two tips to help improve your value propositions and open up value sales conversations.

#1:  Sell emotion, not logic.  Most value propositions are focused on what the company or product does, with the emphasis on the positive features and benefits of the product or service.  Research shows that people buy two to three times quicker to eliminate pain.  It’s neuroscience 101.  The reptilian portion of the brain is wired to avoid pain. Effective sellers create value propositions focused on problems they solve for customer, not positive benefits.

#2:  Customize, customize, customize.  Today’s sellers expect you to know their world.  They are being trained by the like of Netflix, who gives you suggestions of movies you should watch based on your last selection.  (And yes, that can backfire after watching a bad movie….)

Generic, one size fits all value propositions do not emotionally connect with potential buyers.  It’s really common sense.  Look at all the buying influences involved when purchasing your product or service.  Is the economic buyer going to have a different set of pains and needs than the user or technical buyer?  Is the power buyer going to have a different set of goals and worries than the influencer buyer?  The answer is yes.  Effective sellers use the emotional intelligence skill of empathy to demonstrate that they have walked a mile in their prospects shoes and customize their value propositions to each buyer’s pain.  The buyer feels understood and is open to further conversation.

Sharpen your value propositions by selling emotion, not logic.  Create and customize value propositions by the position and industry.  Create value propositions that open up value sales conversations, not what’s your price.

Category: Sales

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About the Author: Colleen Stanley

Colleen Stanley is President of SalesLeadership, a sales training and consulting firm. She is author of Growing Great Sales Teams, and writes a bi-monthly column for business journals across the country. For more information, co

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