How to Communicate your Value Proposition
We’re constantly bombarded by messages, whether it’s the phone ringing, email notifications, little red circles and push alerts on your phone, tweets, snaps… I can keep going, but you get the picture. It’s hard to cut through all of that noise, yet your job as a salesperson is to do just that- deliver a meaningful value proposition that sets the stage for change. It’s really difficult to do that when nobody’s listening, and they can barely even hear you over all of the noise.
Attention spans are shorter than ever. And I don’t see them getting any longer, do you? You’ve got a few seconds at most to capture someone’s interest, and you need to renew that interest every few seconds. The classic idea of a 30-second elevator pitch either needs to have four distinct hooks in it, it needs to be much shorter, or both.
Time and content aren’t nearly as important as relevance. A vague marketing message meant to apply to everybody rarely captivates anybody. You need to take that message, extrapolate it into a potential outcome that is relevant to the prospect, and ask questions about the value of that outcome. In other words, your value proposition needs to communicate specific value to the person you’re talking to.
Ask A Great Question… Two If You Can
I know- with less time and a canned message, your tendency is going to be to talk faster. Maybe you’re going to break that message into a few smaller sections. You’re missing the point. You need to get your prospect to agree to listen to you before you try to tell them something. If you’ve done enough homework, which is probably less than you think, you should understand the outcomes that your solution will help them achieve. The job now becomes about asking questions surrounding those outcomes.
Wanna sell me a Mac? Ask me if I’ve ever had compatibility issues with editing Office documents from my phone. Better yet, ask me if my life would be easier with a seamless end-to-end user experience across every piece of hardware in my home, from my phone to my tablet to my laptop to my tv. Don’t try to sell me a stand mixer, ask me if I can make consistently perfect cookies.
If you’re really in touch with your customers, you’ll know the real reasons they buy. You’ll also know by now, that those reasons don’t have a whole lot to do with what is in the copy on your website, or printed on your brochures. Those buying motives are the best place to start your line of questioning.
That’s what I call the reaction you get from someone when you say something that piques their interest. A gatekeeper cracks a smile… The CEO puts down the pen and sits back in her chair… That prickly purchasing manager raises an eyebrow… You’ve got ’em. You may not have realized it, but it’s actually the very first buying signal.
When you’ve captured someone’s genuine attention, there is always a shift in their posture in some way. They may tilt their head to the side inquisitively, or lean forward to make sure they heard you correctly. My favorite is when they sit back in their chair and make direct eye contact. At this moment, and for the next half second, you have a golden opportunity to deliver your message. I call this moment ‘the lean,’ it’s a fleeting moment when your prospect is genuinely receptive to whatever you’re going to say next.
You Get One Pitch
Ted Williams is arguably the best hitter in baseball history. He said that in every at-bat, a hitter would get their perfect pitch once. “Don’t take it, don’t miss it, and don’t foul it off.” The same wisdom applies here. You’ve ‘worked the count’ to get in this position. Your prospect has given you their full attention for that half second- a proverbial fastball right down the middle.
Now is your opportunity to hit it out of the ballpark. Go and be great.