Even if you don’t realize it just yet, you are remarkable. You have the potential to build an incredible personal value proposition that doesn’t just make selling easier, it can lock out the competition entirely.
Mark Holmes is an expert at generating new sales with large and strategically essential accounts and is the author of “The 5 Rules of Megavalue Selling”.
On this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Mark shares why we need to create a strong personal value proposition and how to create one in a few simple steps.
Keep going past the video to see the step by step guide.
What Is A Value Proposition?
Mark suggests that a value proposition is “the main two or three reasons why someone would want to buy from me, my product, my service. Rather than from my competitors”.
Additionally, Jill Konrath suggests that a business value proposition is “a clear statement of the tangible results a customer gets from using its products or services.”
We need to use this tool in business because we all have incredibly short attention spans.
When you first jump in front of a new prospect, leveraging this little bit of attention to earn more time to discuss your product in detail is typically the only play you have. A compelling value proposition increases the chances of the prospect sticking around.
A strong value proposition is like wearing a gold Rolex when speed dating. It might not result in sealing the deal itself, but with many women, it’ll buy you enough time to work your charismatic magic.
Building an initial value proposition is crazy simple. We need to answer three questions –
- How does your product help solve my problems?
- What can I expect from your company within the first 90 days?
- Why should I be speaking to you and not your competition?
Answering these first 3 questions allows you to make a strong first impression and earn the right to continue the conversation.
Mark suggests that the importance of all of this is that if we don’t “we risk becoming one of these ‘me-too’ businesses”.
Personal Value Proposition Examples
The problem is…
Most businesses in the internet age have similar features, benefits and end results when compared to the competition.
This is where your personal value proposition comes in. You de-commoditize your product by making YOU the differentiator.
I did this all the time in medical device sales by being more available to help my customers than my competition. I was single at the time, no pets, no responsibilities and so if a surgeon needed a piece of equipment or some troubleshooting done on their camera systems at 10 pm on a Friday, I was there to help them.
It made me lots of commissions, it didn’t make me happy, but that’s a story for another time.
The point is that you personally have features and benefits that your customers can leverage that your competition cannot replicate and so you need to be able to share them with a very quick personal value proposition.
Here are a few examples –
- I’ve worked for both of the leading competitors in the industry. I know all of their products inside and out and so I can help guide you better than each of them individually.
- I worked with your CEO on XYZ project a few years ago. We get on great and so the onboarding process will be seamless.
- I just helped your competitor 123 save 30% on their marketing costs while having more reach overall.
How Do I Uncover Mine?
There are 3 necessary steps we can use to uncover the value that we have to share with our customers –
1) What other roles have you been involved with?
Like in the example above, I worked for both of the leading players in the endoscopy market. I could leverage this into having in-depth conversations about not just my own products but theirs as well which build insane amounts of trust with my customers.
Perhaps you worked in finance before you started your sales career? If so make sure to include this when selling to the CFO.
What have you done in your past that your competition hasn’t?
2) What special projects have you taken part in?
I was shipped off to Germany to work on a special project with a couple of the worlds leading urologists. Don’t ask me why. I think my sales manager just wanted two weeks peace from me pestering him about something or other.
I jumped at the chance to spend a couple of weeks drinking the best beer in the world on the companies pocket but it was what I took away from this experience that had the most significant impact on my sales.
Unintentionally I’d ended up working with a couple of my customers “heroes”. That’s right they actually used this word.
Therefore when I cam back from this special project I had an incredible amount of social proof that my products and my experience were more valuable than my local competitors. Of course, I mentioned these penis demi-Gods at every moment I could moving forward.
What projects have you worked on that your competition hasn’t?
3) How have you helped your current customers?
Your work day-to-day, if it is of a high standard, cannot be commoditized. The competition, however, more than likely are not doing anything all that impressive.
If you have wowed your customers in the past, then grab a testimonial or two from them.
The ability to name drop a well-known individual or brand from your industry vertical and include this within your personal value proposition when speaking with new potential customers is a powerful jab in the nose in terms of getting attention.
Who can put in a good word that you really helped them out?
Putting It Altogether
The final step is to create your actual personal value proposition from the data you’ve pulled together so far. The process is –
- Clear Goal. We should always start with our end goal in mind. What do you want to accomplish with your value prop?
- Biggest Strengths. Out of everything you’ve uncovered, what would have the biggest impact if you shared it with a potential customer? What would make them stop in their tracks and say “oh shit”?
- Align Strengths With Your Goal. Don’t leave it to the person you’re speaking with to do any of the mental processing here. If your goal is to communicate that you’re a better supplier because you can move faster when the market changes, align your strengths with this specific point.
- Provide Evidence. Sales professionals are unfortunately on the back foot with all of this. Buyers have an inherent distrust of anyone that has “sales” in their job title. Therefore we need to provide ample, third-party evidence that what you’re saying is true.
Your personal value proposition is a powerful sales tool. If your prospect likes you, it immediately disqualifies your competition from the race as it acts as the evidence the prospect needs to logically give you the business.
In the age of the internet, when it’s easy to build a business around most verticals, where there are typically unlimited competitors…
It might be your greatest weapon.
- Book: The 5 Rules of Megavalue Selling: How to Communicate Customer Value and Differentiate From Competitors
- Mark on Linkedin