Any real sustainable business is built on the mutual exchange of value. You offer a product or service or experience that is valuable to the customer. The customer signals that value by paying you. Without this value exchange you do not have a customer, and without paying customers, you do not have a business.
A value proposition is the desirable outcome you promise for your customers. With a strong value proposition, you will get you the highest price possible for that particular customer. With a weak value proposition, you will constantly find yourself in numbers negotiations and competitive price wars.
A good value proposition is NOT:
• Lofty jargon, marketing gobbledygook or selling puffery
• A catchy slogan or slick elevator speech – these are designed to grab attention and the best ones are crafted from a good value prop.
• A description of your products and services – instead it is the value outcome your product or service creates for the customer.
• Generic benefits – rather, it should be focused on personal and specific numbers
A good value proposition takes time and constant refining. Luckily there is a great tool that can help you more quickly get to the heart of your value. Jill Konrath’s value proposition generator helped me cut through my own cluttered thoughts and come up with answers to the tough but essential question: how does my company deliver value to my customers?
Do this before you do anything else. After all, it is the core of your business.