Sounds like an oxymoron? Well it is. The odd angle too is that I have just started a new business with the main intention to help individuals, entrepreneurs and SMEs to sell their products and services, yet the very first thing I chose to write about, is that I do not sell.
That is because it’s true! Then what? Well I may not sell but I do offer value or – what the business schools teach – I offer economic utility. Read all about the 4 types of economic utility right here. I won’t repeat is so, if you are interested, read up. In common daily language in business, nobody talks of economic utility, despite what business schools may want you to focus on. They speak of the value proposition of a product or service. Once you get the hang of what the value position (or VP) is all about, you are all set. You simply do not need to sell, just market the VP.
I have had many teams that have gone bored with me talking about the VP – the value proposition. Spending many hours discussing it, brainstorming it in different contexts, finding it, shortlisting it and agreeing to it in our daily work in sales, marketing and business development, in general. I haven’t done this as I intentionally want to bore or annoy my team members. No. I have done this because it works! Simply. Once you get the hang of the true VP and once your recipient understands and believes it, you do not sell. You have sold. You’ve gotten the order, contract, business etc. without selling. Well not quite true is it. No. Because actually, you sell the VP but not the product or service you actually want to sell. Sounds complex? It’s not.
Gone are the days when companies focus on feeds and speeds, FABs or KSFs – Key Success Factors. It’s old school. Sorry, but it is. VP replaces it. So what is VP – value proposition – exactly. Well your everyday MBA course will have you talk of economic utility as mentioned above. VP is defined by Google as:
A value proposition is a simple statement that summarizes why a customer would choose your product or service. It communicates the clearest benefit that customers receive by giving you their business.
This is so spot on. I totally by into this, but I do want to take this a bit further. First of all, you need to understand benefit. You MUST be convinced that the benefit you think of is also the benefit that the customer, the recipient, expects or sees. And ultimately, the value proposition has an outcome and that outcome is profit! Sorry. I can’t and don’t have the virtues of virgin Mary. I must be on the ball and tell it for what it is. Somewhere everyone is in business for profits. Those who are not, well they are simply not in business. Those who just focus on the stock or value of a company for intended sell of, will they are not in business. To me, business is derived if you as a company owner or company representative focus on both organic and strategic growth. Not one or the other. You must either satisfy yourself or your stakeholders or both, but regardless you are expected to deliver economic value = profit. Yes you may have an ESG policy or document, but why do you have this? Is it truly because you maintain a “we care only” mentality or are you either forced to keep the ESG – or you desire to have one – to retain and acquire business? Let’s not go down that route yet. Separate blog post on that later.
So, with this little short first blog post I dare you that we are all in business for profits and the way to achieve this is to have a value proposition that tops every competitor you have and one that your recipient can buy into effortlessly. Helpscout.com depicts it very nicely in this schematic.
Have a fantastic day and week ahead. If you want our assistance on exactly how to define and market your specific value proposition, reach out to us here.
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