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Why are value propositions so important for your business? (And how to establish an awesome value statement)

Useful Value Proposition Examples (and How to Create a Good One)

Customer loyalty cards, frequent flyer points, rewards points and dozens (if not hundreds) of other programmes are all designed to get you to come back.

Are they really effective? Obviously the big players think they are but what about small and medium businesses.

I’m not so sure but I do know that having a value proposition is essential, even critical if your SME is to flourish.

So what is a value proposition? Here are a 3 definitions.

A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered. It’s the primary reason a prospect should buy from you.  http://conversionxl.com/value-proposition-examples-how-to-create/

A business or marketing statement that summarizes why a consumer should buy a product or use a service. This statement should convince a potential consumer that one particular product or service will add more value or better solve a problem than other similar offerings.   Read more: Value Proposition Definition | Investopedia

A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered and acknowledged and a belief from the customer that value will be delivered and experienced. A value proposition can apply to an entire organization, or parts thereof, or customer accounts, or products or services.

So it’s pretty obvious. A value proposition is just that. It is a statement that tells the customer what value they are getting when they purchase your product or service.

In other words, a value proposition is a statement of what your business does that’s better than your competitors.  http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245966

When you attend networking events do many people remember you and what you offer?  Can you articulate or paint a picture of your Value Proposition in 120 words or less? If you can get it down to 94 words even better.

Make sure you use the right language

Language

OK we’re not talking about different languages in the way shown in the image.

The language we must use is one that your customer will respond to. Namely what’s in it for them.

They do not respond well if your value statement is all about you you will lose them.

A value proposition is about the customer and what is or will be of value to them.

So what elements make up a good VP?

6 key elements of a great value proposition

  1. The headline should ‘speak ‘ to the customer
  2. The sub-head should highlight a benefit and a call to action
  3. The key benefits should be clearly listed preferably in bullet points
  4. Include a relevant image
  5. What do you do that your competitor doen’t?
  6. How to use Video

A word of caution with video

Do not rely on a video to communicate your value proposition. You must have words that people can read so you capture their attention. The video will then hold their attention keeping them on site longer. If the video is relevant, short and concise then it will be a huge boost.

The headline

Your customer already had some chat going on in their mind. They are looking for a solution to a problem and you need to address this. The problem needs to be obvious to the consumer.

The only way to find out what is going on in your customers mind is to ask them. Ask an existing customer, people you network with or use social media.

Use the sub-head to show a key benefit and a clear explanation of what action you want them to take.

Here are a few more ideas.

How to create a winning value proposition?

winning_value_propositionThe best value proposition is clear: what is it, for whom and how is it useful? If those questions are answered, you’re on the right path. Always strive for clarity first.

If your value proposition makes people go “hmph?”, you’re doing it wrong. If they have to read a lot of text to understand your offering, you’re doing it wrong. Yes, sufficient amount of information is crucial for conversions, but you need to draw them in with a clear, compelling value proposition first.

Research by MarketingExperiments says that the key challenge companies have is identifying an effective value proposition, followed by communicating it clearly.

What makes a good value proposition:

  • Clarity! It’s easy to understand.
  • It communicates the concrete results a customer will get from purchasing and using your products and/or services.
  • It says how it’s different or better than the competitor’s offer.
  • It avoids hype (like ‘never seen before amazing miracle product’), superlatives (‘best’) and business jargon (‘value-added interactions’).
  • It can be read and understood in about 5 seconds.

Also, in most cases there is a difference between the value proposition for your company and your product. You must address both.

Here’s a value proposition worksheet you might find useful.

reference How To Create A Useful Value Proposition w/ Examples

How to craft a unique value proposition

A key role for the value proposition is to set you apart from the competition. Most people check out 4-5 different options  / service providers before they decide. You want your offering to stand out in this important research phase.

So how do you make your offer unique? Often it’s hard to spot anything unique about your offering. It requires deep self-reflection and discussion.

If you can’t find anything, you better create something. Of course the unique part needs to be something customers actually care about. No point being unique for the sake of being unique (“the ball bearings inside our bicycles are blue”).

All supermarkets are pretty much the same, right? Well, no. Here’s an example from Austin, TX of how a supermarket can be unique.

Here are two articles that can help you with finding a “theme” or an angle for your value proposition:

The key thing to remember is that you don’t need to be unique in the whole world, just in the customer’s mind.  The closing of a sale takes place in a customer’s mind, not out in the marketplace among the competition.

Boosters for your value proposition

Sometimes it’s the little things that tip the decision in your favor. If all major things are pretty much the same between your and your competitors’ offer, you can win by offering small value-adds. I call them boosters.

These things work well against competitors who do not offer them. Boosters can be things like

  • Free shipping
  • Fast shipping / Next day shipping
  • Free bonus with a purchase
  • Free setup / installation
  • No setup fee
  • No long-term contract, cancel any time
  • License for multiple computers (vs 1)
  • (Better than) Money-back guarantee
  • A discounted price (for a product)
  • Customizable

You get the idea. Think what small things you could add that wouldn’t cost you much, but could be attractive to some buyers.

Make sure the booster is visible with the rest of the value proposition.

reference How To Create A Useful Value Proposition w/ Examples

This video gives you some ideas to work with.

Here are links to some valuable value proposition examples and comparisons.

Marketing Experiments. Powerful Value Propositions

Harvard Business Review. Customer Value Propositions in Business Markets 

This site has several classic examples of awesome value propositions.

10 examples you will wish you had

To find out how we can help you attract traffic to your website and get you more conversions call us on 0414 288 050.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is the customer always right? 3 reasons why this saying is not valid! (And should be removed from your business philosophy)

 The phrase “The customer is always right” was originally coined in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London, and is typically used by businesses to convince customers that they will get good service at this company and convince employees to give customers good service.

However, I think businesses should abandon this phrase once and for all — ironically because it leads to worse customer service. Source  

Mutual respect is a must

For any relationship to work there must be mutual respect. The relationship between customer and service provider is like a marriage. If it is to survive mutual respect must be at its core. This mutual respect covers their time, knowledge and the contribution they make to your companies success.

A famous story about a complaining customer

One woman who frequently flew on Southwest was constantly disappointed with every aspect of the company’s operation. In fact, she became known as the “Pen Pal” because after every flight she wrote in with a complaint.
She didn’t like the fact that the company didn’t assign seats; she didn’t like the absence of a first-class section; she didn’t like not having a meal in flight; she didn’t like Southwest’s boarding procedure; she didn’t like the flight attendants’ sporty uniforms and the casual atmosphere.
Her last letter, reciting a litany of complaints, momentarily stumped Southwest’s customer relations people. They bumped it up to Herb’s [Kelleher, CEO of Southwest at the time] desk, with a note: ‘This one’s yours.’
In sixty seconds, Kelleher wrote back and said, ‘Dear Mrs. Crabapple, We will miss you. Love, Herb.'” Source 

Jayson DeMers, a contributor to Forbes / Entrepreneurs, gives 3 reasons why this is so.

NO, the customer is NOT always right!

are_customers_alway_rightHow many times have you had to grit your teeth, take a deep breath and silently repeat to yourself, “The customer is always right”? This is a motto that’s drilled into every young retail or hospitality worker and has somehow made its way into the psyches of established business owners.

The problem is, the customer isn’t always right, and always thinking otherwise can result in a serious disservice to you, your employees, and your customers. Here’s why.

1.    Unreasonable customers eat away at your finite resources.
You only have limited resources available to you; don’t allocate a disproportionate amount of them to customers who repeatedly cause problems. You only have so much time, money and energy to dedicate to customer service, or to your business, and an unreasonable customer or client can quickly eat away at the majority of it.

Do your best to address customers concerns

If you’ve tried your best to address a complaint and the customer still isn’t happy, it’s time to move on from that customer. Use your limited resources to address the concerns of customers who are willing to engage in reasonable dialogue with you. When you focus on meeting the needs of your reasonable customers, you build loyal brand ambassadors…and I’d rather have a bunch of these than throw all my resources at customers who are impossible to please.

Focus on customers who matter most

In his book Customer Centricity, Peter Fader encourages business owners to focus on the customers who matter most: “Not all customers deserve your company’s best efforts. And despite what the adage says, the customer is most definitely not always right. Because, in the world of customer centricity, there are good customers…and then there is everybody else.”

Allocate the majority of your valuable resources to your good customers

In Tim Ferriss’ wildly popular and successful book, The 4 Hour Workweek, Ferriss recounts a personal story early in the book that details how he nearly hit his mental breaking point because he was trying to please every customer.

He soon discovered that a few customers were taking the majority of his bandwidth and causing the majority of his stress though they contributed only a relatively small percentage of the company’s total revenue.

His solution? He gave the clients an ultimatum: if they couldn’t do business his way, he didn’t want to do business with them at all. The result? Some of the clients changed to accommodate Ferriss’ requests.

Others refused to change, so he fired them. Ferriss’ mental overhead drastically decreased, and his business soared as he only accepted clients that fit his ideal customer model from that point onward.

The lesson here is to allocate the majority of your valuable resources to your good customers, and stop trying to please everyone all the time.

The customer can become the enemy

2.    This mindset positions employees against customers and management.
If you’re lucky enough to have found employees who you trust and respect, don’t risk losing them by siding with the customer by default. When you tell your employees “the customer is always right,” you immediately position them against the customer – and the customer always wins. Source  

What does Richard Branson say?

If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.  Source 

Respect your employees

If you want to keep your employees happy and effective, back them up. Prove to them that you respect their judgment and opinions, and when faced with siding with your employee or an unreasonable customer, always choose your employee.

According to Alexander Kjerulf, author of Happy Hour is 9 to 5, happy employees lead to the best possible customer service: “Believing the customer is always right is a subconscious way of favouring the customer over the employee that can lead to resentment among employees. When managers put the employees first, the employees will then put the customers first. Put employees first and they will be happy at work”.  

If you’re the owner of the business and the one supplying the service or product treat yourself as an employee. Look after yourself, your health and well-being and your family.

Don’t be afraid to cut ties

05e35ec037e24eac9fb831a184bc6501_ah8xKP3.    Money isn’t everything. Not even close.

We’ve all had customers or clients who have unrealistic expectations of what we can or should do to keep them happy. They demand – whether explicitly or implicitly – more of our time, energy, and resources than our other clients.
Don’t be afraid to cut ties with customers or clients who repeatedly make unrealistic demands or who consistently cause stress or friction. Rather than continually sacrificing your time, dignity and emotional health, focus your efforts on actively pursuing new customers or clients who respect your time and boundaries.  Source

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. Bill Gates

Learn from your unhappy customers and make improvements to your systems and clarify expectations. Let you customers know what you’re experiencing from the relationship and, if possible, alter your processors to accommodate them.

Do your best to resolve the conflict but if it isn’t possible then spend your time and energy finding a new client who will value you and your service.

Modern Testimonials – A Sure-Fire Way to Build Trust to Catapult Your Success

Thank youLets begin with change

We all live in a world where the constant and dramatic change is almost overwhelming. This is very apparent in the marketing and online digital environment.

However, there is one business tool that hasn’t really moved with the times — the testimonial.

Sean Dezousa from 5000bc.com describes it like this. “If I put 6 spoons of sugar in a coffee and asked you to drink it would you? If you did it would be sickly sweet.”

But it doesn’t need to be like that? There is a better way to get great testimonials from your customers.

But lets start with the power and value of even sickly sweet traditional testimonails.

Why WordPress Testimonials Can Generate More Selling Power Than the Best Sales Copy

Consumers are more savvy than ever these days, so simply claiming you are “the best” is not enough. With testimonials, though, you don’t need to work to convince your audience you are awesome – because other people can do it for you.

Testimonials offer an independent indication that you have done a great job. They can also help reassure new or nervous customers, as well as distinguish you from your competitors. Using reviews and comments from your satisfied customers can transform your sales pitch into a credible, unbiased recommendation for your product or service.

If that’s not enough to convince you of the value of testimonials, adding them to your site is simple to do, and adding even just one good review of your product or service can generate more selling power than some of the best sales copy out there.

Building your audience or customer base all begins with building trust in your brand, and once a few people trust and enjoy your brand it’s only natural for them to spread the word – and conveniently create testimonials for you.

via: Why WordPress Testimonials Can Generate More Selling Power Than the Best Sales Copy

A Guide to Customer Testimonials: Your Business’s (Not-So) Secret Weapon

When Billy Joel sang that, “It’s a matter of trust,” he wasn’t talking about marketing. Nevertheless, marketers can definitely learn a thing or two from The Piano Man, especially when it comes to the importance of building relationships with prospective customers.

Customer testimonials are one of the most powerful trust signals you can use on your website and in your marketing campaigns, including landing pages, product and pricing pages, and even your AdWords ads. Persuasive testimonials from satisfied customers can sway even the most hesitant prospect, making them a potent weapon in your marketing arsenal.

via: A Guide to Customer Testimonials: Your Business’s (Not-So) Secret Weapon

But how do we get testimonials that inspire trust?


Traditional Testimonials are like resumés

Have you ever read or written a resume that highlighted weaknesses and past mistakes?

I doubt it because we all know that resumes are written to impress the reader. Testimonials are the same — sickly sweet and no spice.

But, testimonials, even sugary ones, are important for business. So how can we get a more mature testimonial? How can we give them new life?

When you read the next 6 simple questions you will know how.

Introducing a Testimonial with a difference — the Lighthouse TestimonialTestimonial lighthouse

So what is a Lighthouse testimonial?

You know that every buyer experiences doubt prior to purchasing a product or service. There’s always an objection lurking like the Grim Reaper in the buyer’s mind.

People are skeptical. It’s a fact of life.

The purpose of a lighthouse is to be visible; To shine; To stand out. And that’s what a Lighthouse Testimonial does. It stands head and shoulders above every other testimonial out there.

How do we do that?

They shine because they are not all sugar and no spice. We actually include objections your customers face when they are making the decision to buy your product or service. And then the Lighthouse Testimonial will diffuse common objections to your product or service.

6 simple questions to powerful testimonials

Get in front of your client or at talk with them on the phone and ask them these six simple questions: (Make sure you get their permission and record the conversation.)

  1. What would have prevented you from hiring my product/service?
  2. What did you find as a result of buying this product/service?
  3. What specific feature did you like most about this product/service?
  4. What would be three other benefits about this product/service?
  5. Would you recommend this product/service? If so why?
  6. Is there anything you’d like to add?

How to obtain your Lighthouse Testimonial

If you simply ask for a testimonial, your customers will always promise to send it to you but they hardly ever land in your inbox. And even if they do send one it’s bound to be the same as all the others.

So the best way to obtain a Lighthouse Testimonial from your clients is to meet with them or give them a call. Face-to-face meetings are best because you are able to ask questions prompting them to expand on their statements. What you end up with is a testimonial story.

The next option best option is a phone call. Make sure you ask your clients permission and record the call.

Why they work so welltick of approval

Lighthouse testimonials are strong because they identify a problem; When the problem is named the buyer identifies with it and then your previous client diffuses the objection for you with their testimonial. That’s why they work so well.

They’re believable because they are not all sugary. Traditional testimonials are sickly sweet and they’re like drinking a cup of coffee that has 10 spoons of sugar in it.

Lighthouse testimonials are a new, refreshing and innovative approach to a proven and vital business tool.

When you ask the simple 6 questions you get a story from your clients that packs a punch; A punch that will help your business to soar.

Here are a few example of testimonials that are on a sugar free diet

Example 1. Heatley Industrial & Safety

“The main hesitation we had was the fact that you didn’t seem to have a finished product to show as an example that was similar to ours.(Objection.)
However, we found that you are very professional and easy to work with.” (Objection defused.)
The best feature of the video is the personal touch of the video. It wasn’t too corporatised. (The feature)

The client then described the benefits of having a video.
The video has assisted us to give our customers and new employees a better understanding of our business and has improved our corporate image.
Our opposition have been around for so long and are so well marketed that many customers didn’t know a half of what we did.
Once we go the corporate video it was different. The biggest hurdle was just them knowing if we could handle their business or not. Whether we could be competitive and handle their business.
The video does that for us. It’s great.
Additional benefits have included supplier presentations and the ability to post the video on the internet.
I would strongly recommend your service to others. You provided Quality, Value, and Professional service.
I would also like to thank you for your patience with the amount of changes and updates we did.”

David Grigg – Sales & Marketing Manager Heatley Industrial & Safety

Example 2 Jarrod Hodge – Manager – Heatley Industrial & Safety

Knowing the extent of your experience I was confident about your ability to give us the video we needed. The confidence proved to be well founded and the video has worked very well for us.
I have used the video in formal presentations to some of my larger contracts and instead of having to verbally explain our company, where we come from and what we do to the customer, it’s easier to plug the flash drive in and show them through the video what our company does.

It’s cut down a good 20 to 30 minutes of the presentation time. These formal appointments we have are an hour at the most. Any longer and we’re wasting their time. So the more time we’ve got to talk about the benefits of our business more than what our business is about the better.

These large corporate organisations appreciate the speedy presentation so we can get down to business faster. The video enables them to absorb a lot more of our specialty information rather than just the general information.
Having the video enable us to make a more professional presentation. Our other senior managers have all found the same. The video saves a good 15 to 20 minutes each presentation.

I helps us with the bottom line – we get more sales because we can spend more time pointing out the benefits of working with our company.
It allows us to sell our point of difference to the customer. The time we save with the video gives us more time to talk about the benefits of Heatleys and our point of difference.

The video with visuals, voice over and music enables them to absorb more information than listening to me speak for 30 minutes selling my company. It’s done in just a few minutes.
We want them to communicate what they expect from us. And this is where the extra time is a real bonus.

We have more time to listen. We get a very good idea of what issues they face which leads nicely into what we can do for them. How we can help them.
The larger corporations appreciate the concise professional presentation.

Jarrod Hodge Manager Heatley Industrial & Safety

Example 3 – The Shire of east Pilbara

Question: What would have prevented you from hiring my product/service?
Answer: Because your quote was so much lower than the others we didn’t think you could do the job properly I guess.
However, when we saw the examples of what you had previously done, they indicated that you could produce the sort of video we were after. It gave us an appreciation of what you could do.
Question: What did you find as a result of buying my product/service?
Answer: The video gives a quick overview of the Shire. It shows new employees and businesses thinking of coming to Newman a look a Newman and what the area has to offer.

Question: What specific feature did you like most about this product/service?
Answer: The visuals and the sound. The combination of the vision and the sound is a good package.
Question: What would be three other benefits about this product/service?
I forgot to ask this question. So keep list of questions handy to remind yourself.
Question: Would you recommend my product/service? If so why?
Answer: I certainly would. I think you did a pretty good job for the time we had, the budget we had and we’re very happy with the result. You delivered on what was asked.
Question: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Answer: You were very easy to work with. You were efficient and got the job done – we’re very happy.
Gaby Pieraccini Manager Sustainability Shire of east Pilbara

We have since updated the video and for a further testimonial please contact Allen Cooper CEO Shire of East Pilbara.

Turn a good small business tool into a great business winning tool.

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