Sales As A Core Business Competency, Part 2: The Value Proposition

SIBP-2How well do you know your customers? Do you know what they really care about? And, most importantly, do you know why they buy from you?

You don’t need to be a genius to realize the best way to get candid feedback from customers is to simply ask them. You’ll be amazed and how much you’ll learn if you actually talk to your customers.

You might learn, for instance, that the biggest problems your customers are trying to solve isn’t the one you thought it was. Perhaps you’ve been pitching your product on its price point, but your customers are more compelled to sign on the dotted line by your service plan. There are countless factors that go into making a sale, and the only way to determine the decisive ones are to go straight to the source.

This kind of feedback is huge, and you should use whatever means you can to gather it. Call them, send them surveys, ask them on social media, and send them post-sale emails. Challenge them to be candid with their feedback and reward them appropriately for sharing

Why is this kind of feedback so important? As entrepreneurs, it’s easy for us to get blinded by our creations. We’re passionate about our product or service, and that can all too easily result in a biased perspective on our customers’ needs. If you want to keep that perspective, you have to get outside of the four walls of your business and stress test your assumptions by taking them to the market.

Once you have a firm understanding of why your customers bought from you, creating a compelling value proposition is much simpler. Armed with genuine insights from actual customers, you can start to make the case for your business. You know exactly what it is about your product or service that makes your customers’ lives better.

It’s important that your value proposition clearly communicate what benefit they provide to the customer. The most compelling propositions are also the simplest. In a B2B setting, for instance, most propositions promise that prospective clients will: make them more money; save them more time; or not get hurt such as sued, hacked, boycotted, or robbed.

We see this same thing all the time as consumers. Most products aimed at individuals promise that they will make us look and feel good, get us more attention, or prevent us from feeling bored. The specifics of how a product will accomplish this changes with the product, but the value propositions are almost always the same.

Now that you have a solid foundation for why your customers have bought your product, and a good understanding of how that translates into a value proposition, it’s time to talk about the channels you will use to reach those customers. I’ll explore that topic in depth in part three.