5 Steps to Develop Your Unique Value Proposition

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Successful salesman and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said: “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” As a business owner you know this to be true. Whether working in the B2C market or B2B arena, you are constantly overcoming sales obstacles and re-selling your services again and again. After all, the most successful business professionals create relationships right?

With so much business moving online and ecommerce sales expected to increase 45% by 2016, the ability to build a sales relationship has been stripped away. You now rely on multiple advertising methods to create a need, website testimonials to bolster trust, and landing pages to mitigate traditional sales barriers. From what we can see, many landing pages don’t have a unique value proposition. “The solution then is not your product or service, but the solution your product or service provides.  ie: the end result, the value given to the customer.” Many a failed value proposition targeted at prospects offers a free consultation! Now let me ask you this, who charges for a consultation?

Here are five essential steps for creating a unique value proposition:

1. What pain do you solve?

Your customers have a pain that needs to be solved, so identify what it is and how your product solves that pain.  Once identified, you need to speak to it every step of the way.   For example, you are an accountant and your clients use you to effectively accomplish their accounting needs without the confusion and frustration.  Your messaging needs to include phrases like “Painless Accounting Services” and “Easy Taxes”. Speaking toward their pain upfront is the number one way to engage their attention.

2. What makes you different?

We’re sure you want to tell us it is the quality of your service and maybe you are right. On a landing page though, we are trying to present a unique value proposition before the lead has experienced this service. When you cannot determine what makes your business stand out, it might be time to get creative. For example, your business lays carpet but how about offering interior design advice? It doesn’t take a genius to master basic concepts of furniture staging and lighting. Suddenly your installers have a useful edge!

3. Who is your market?

Personify your ideal customer. What is their name?  Age? Profession? Interests? Know your prospect intimately and know how your business will enhance their life. Picture problematic scenarios for your customer and solve them with a service or product value. Evolve the profile from “event coordinators” to “event coordinators who need wired event facilities.” Listen. Knowing what this demographic wants and how to enhance the experience is vital. Now, deliver.

4. What are the alternatives?

If your prospect were to walk away right now, where would he or she go? Who is known for doing it better, faster, or cheaper? Identify your competition and their unique value proposition so you can appropriately counter. From our advertiser’s experience, your competitor might not be who you expect either. Southwest Airlines once defined their competition as the automobile. Everyone knows it’s faster and easier to fly than drive. But cheaper? Southwest could easily take customers from other airlines, but opening up flight to a market that might not have otherwise considered it? Genius.

5. Why can’t they say No?

Employ this matrix from marketingexperiments.com which can assist you in visualizing the process in which your value proposition is prioritized over others in the mind of your customer. Innately, you are measuring desire and exclusivity of your product offering. Both of these have to be relatively high or your product offering will not yield any ROI.

Answering these questions will yield a unique value proposition to place across marketing platforms. It should always be succinct. Explain who you are, what is being offered and why your market needs it. If the response is not what you hoped go back to Ziglar’s five components:  need, money, urgency/timeliness, desire and trust.  One of these objections is holding you back. Tweak, test and repeat.