Four Components of a Strong Customer Value Proposition (w/ Examples)

Selling Skills | Presenting Solutions

 We’re all familiar with the term Value Proposition. Most often it is used to describe how your company differentiates itself from the competition.  A good Value Proposition is usually put together by the marketing department and is generic enough to be used in a variety of situations.   

But for purposes of presenting your solution to a customer, however, a generic Value Proposition doesn’t cut it.  The sales professional must tailor the generic Value Proposition to the specific needs of the customer.  We call this more refined version of the Value Proposition: the Customer Value Proposition. 

Here are the four components of a strong Customer Value Proposition:

 

#1 Recaps Need

To ensure that you are on track and haven’t lost sight of the customer’s primary need, you start the value proposition by recapping their need.  This helps both seller and buyer stay focused on the need(s) that has been uncovered.

 Example: “You have mentioned that you are pressed for time and that inventory management is taking time away from serving your patients.” 

 

#2 Solution 

Next you want to net out the highlights of the solution.  In the value proposition, this does not include every single feature and every reason why, but the most compelling reason that directly responds to the customer’s primary need.  Being able to net out the solution is a challenge for many salespeople. Salespeople often have trouble realizing that less is more.

Example: “Our inventory management service will save you hours each week so that you can focus on what you do best, practicing medicine.”  

 

#3 Differentiate

In many selling situations, neutralizing a competitive threat is critical.  But differentiating your solution from the competition is best done with finesse.  You want to address why you’re a better solution.  Blatantly bashing the competition isn’t going to work.  But subtly positioning why you’re better can address the objections that they have expressed.

Example: Our inventory management service has been recognized by Medical Inventory Magazine as being the #1 service preferred by physicians because of our comprehensive product line coupled with our free expedited delivery – we are the only company that offers this.”

 

#4 Proof

Finally, you can be assured that your customer will not just take your word for it.  Customers are generally skeptical of unsubstantiated claims.  So what proof can you offer to validate your claims?  Is it a trial?  A reference customer?  A case study?  Industry recognition?  Proof is an important confidence builder and a necessary component of a strong Value Proposition.    

Example: Our inventory management service has been recognized by Medical Inventory Magazine as being the #1 service preferred by physicians because of our comprehensive product line coupled with our free expedited delivery – we are the only company that offers this.”

A strong Customer Value Proposition is like an arrow penetrating a bull’s eye.  It helps the buyer quickly understand how your solution will address his or her needs and does it in a convincing way.  But remember that Customer Value Propositions are all about being succinct in your message.

 

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About Marlaina Capes

Marlaina Capes is a Senior Director of Client Services at the Sales Readiness Group (SRG). She has over 20 years of experience helping organizations improve performance in the areas of sales skills and leadership development. At SRG, Marlaina has worked with industry leading clients including Abbott, AdRoll, Alcon, Catalina Marketing, FactSet, Johnson Financial Group, Maritz, RingCentral, Univision, and Valmont Industries.