The Value Proposition. Find it, develop it, USE it.

VALUE PROPOSITION. What is it, how do I use it? Do you know what exactly is your Value Proposition is? You must know it and be able to deliver it day in and day out to add VALUE for our clients and customers. So, what IS your Value Proposition? Many will say something like “Excellent Customer Service”, or “Quality Products and Service”. Others will suggest it has something to do with their reputation or their long history of excellent performance. I believe it must be stated in terms of a FEELING that someone gets when they do business with you. That’s right – a FEELING! Have you ever defined your value proposition in terms of a feeling? Think about it. When a customer uses your product or service, how does that make them FEEL? Do they get a sense of confidence? Do they feel refreshed? Does working with you give them a sense of hope? Maybe when they visit your shop they are overwhelmed by a sense of calm relaxation. What is it that you want them to FEEL? This is not a “touchy feely” activity. This is a critically important assessment of what you are trying to accomplish in your business. Let’s face it, most of us do not have a name brand, like Coke or McDonalds where the satisfaction guarantee is almost certain because of our reputation and brand. Most of us also do not have a product that is so well known, like an Apple computer or Kleenex where our customers don’t need to worry about the quality of what they are buying because our previous products speak for themselves. Most of us are in a business where it is neither the Brand nor the Product that is the real reason people buy from us. They are buying from us because of the FEELING they get when they do business with us. What is that FEELING that keeps them coming back time and time again? That feeling that keeps them from going to our competitor? If you are scratching your head on this one, then here is a simple exercise for you this week – ask some of your current customers! That’s right. Ask your customers why they buy from you and not from your competitors. It is scary how many business owners don’t take the time to ask their current customers. Maybe because they are afraid of the answer. Maybe they are worried that their customer may just say “Gee, I don’t really know why I keep buying from you…maybe I should try the other guy!” Ask them! Ask several of them. Get them to tell you why in terms of a FEELING. Then, when you get several who share a similar feeling with you, you will know exactly why they like doing business with you. Think about it…How can you ever think to replicate what matters if you don’t know what matters? Your customers will tell you what your Value Proposition is – or should be! So, Value Proposition is a difficult stage. It is not an off the cuff thought or answer. This must be thought about deeply, then researched with some current customers. But once you have it, your Value Proposition that is, you will be in a position to really pick up the pace as you head into the next stages of this critical race.

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