The Value Proposition exists as a short, succinct way to convey the value your business has to offer to your potential customer. It’s an easy-to-understand look into who your business is and what you can achieve for the customer.
An effective and visible value proposition is crucial if you want to get the most value from your website.
Wait, That Just Sounds Like An Elevator Pitch
A value proposition can often come off sounding like an elevator pitch. While related, the two of them are not synonymous. The best way to distinguish the value proposition from the elevator pitch is then to look at what both can and cannot do.
What is an elevator pitch, then? Typically, an elevator pitch is about conveying what you do and who you work with in 1-2 sentences. You can peel it off in 10 seconds or less, and it’s a pretty important thing to have downpat in a corporate network.
But, there is a limit to what the elevator pitch can achieve. The two things we’ve just mentioned that it achieves are very self-centred in nature. They concern you and your business, which is great when the client is interested in what you’re capable of.
What the elevator speech fails to do is convey the value to be gained by the potential customer when they do business with you. It tells the listener what you the business can do, but it doesn’t necessarily convey what you’ll be able to do for them, the client.
Same, Same, But Different
This doesn’t mean that the elevator pitch is a defunct construct - far from it, the elevator pitch is still something that is needed and something that is worth refining for your business. But it has limits, just like everything else. The pitch is reactive in nature, a response to the question, "so, what do you do?" at business networking events. In contrast, the value proposition is proactive in nature, reaching out and offering to the potential customer. The two aren't in competition with each other, but should complement each other in responding and reaching out to your customers.
With the two of them together, you’ll be able to highlight real, concrete benefits to be had and felt by the customer, should they take up business with you. A value proposition is about showcasing what the customer can gain from your the business, in a clear and succinct manner.
Your value proposition should also be able to make clear why the customer should purchase from you, rather than from your competition. Clear enough that the great value you offer can be seen and desired, and that what you offer is of greater value than any other suppliers or competitiors. That's what you want to be conveying.
And it’s not just a ‘you’ll feel better about using our product’, or ‘decrease your stress levels with our service’. When you provide tangible results for the buyer, they’ll be much more likely to convert and do business with you. Which of the two statements holds more traction for you?
‘We are leaders in employee buyer productivity software’
‘Increase employee productivity by 15% by using our software’
Any business that’s looking to gain concrete benefits in exchange for currency is going to need very good reasons to do so. A value proposition is designed to give the buyer an irrefutable reason to consider your business for the task at hand.
A Value Proposition About Value Propositions
Just like the Matrix, a value proposition can be difficult to explain, and is understood best when you see it for yourself.
So, let’s write and then deconstruct a value proposition about value propositions.
A value proposition succinctly explains what your business will achieve for the buyer in a tangible way. Your proposition should emphasise the business value to be gained by the buyer.
Succinct: You’ve got a limited window of time to grab and keep the attention of your buyer. Make every word count.
Achieve for: This is what the buyer stands to gain. Is it more business? A higher productivity level in staff? Professional-level products?
Tangible: As mentioned before, we don’t want to provide waffle-y benefits to a potential buyer. Either they’re going to do business with us or they’re not, and they need solid evidence to base their decisions on.
Business Value: The benefits your buyer stands to gain have to be large and concrete enough to justify the dollar sign. They also need to add value to the buyer’s company, allowing them to do more, or better, than before.
In short, a value proposition will give your buyers reassurance about what you are able to do for their business, and invite them to take you up on your promise. It’s focused on the buyer, and conveys what you want to achieve for the buyer.
People love hearing about themselves. You’re much more likely to get a response out of potential buyers when you present to them what you’re going to do for them rather than what they might end up doing for you. A value proposition makes a personal connection between the business and the buyer. Making subtle value propositions all through your website as the potential customer navigates about will keep reinforcing the point, that doing business with you will result in some clear and desirable benefits.
A strong value proposition will be the foundation upon which your buyer builds their faith in your website. It’ll be your selling promise, your voice, and adhere to your brand. It'll grow your business. And it’ll be responsible for bringing you qualified leads ready and willing to talk business.