Creating a value proposition sounds good in theory. After all, when marketing your services, your value prop is what will set you apart.
But when it comes time to put pen to paper, most consultants struggle. Don’t worry; you’re not alone.
In fact, according to research by MarketingProfs, most marketers (i.e. people who market for a living!) have a hard time with value propositions. The areas in which they struggle the most include:
- Identifying their value prop;
- Clearly expressing it; and
- Testing and measuring it.
Another area we’d add to the MarketingProfs list – for consultants at least – is misunderstanding what a value prop is – and what it isn’t. For instance, a value proposition isn’t a tagline, slogan or catch phrase. It’s not:
- Drivers wanted. – Volkswagen
- Diamonds are forever. – DeBeers
- Melts in your mouth, not in your hands. – M&Ms
Nor is it phrases like “providing better customer service,” or “utilizing proven methodologies,” which most consulting practice’s can claim.
A value proposition is a series of statements that define who you are, what you do, and the primary benefit(s) of doing business with you. In other words, it’s focused more on outcomes, not on internal processes. It’s something more along the lines of:
“We help consultants market their services. That’s what we do; that’s all we do. And we can provide the marketing tools you need to get more leads and grow your business.”
So with all that said, what’s the number #1 secret to creating a killer value prop?
Talking to your clients.
That’s right; it’s really that easy. Most consultants struggle when developing their value prop because they don’t really understand the value they deliver.
In fact, according to the Marketing Leadership Council of the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), “the biggest failure point in most company value propositions is proximity.” In other words, companies are simply too close to their own products and services to see what’s really different about them. As a result, they wind up overemphasizing what they perceive as the benefits of doing business with them.
That’s why talking to your clients is such a valuable step to take. When you do, they’ll tell you what they actually value about your services; not what you just “think” they do.