Why Would You Compete Without an Unfair Advantage?
Get the results you’re working for
When a prospect is considering buying from you or hiring you, you need to be better than your competitors in at least one way.
If you’re not, why would anyone choose you?
But it’s not enough to be better than your competitors. Not even if you’re better in every way.
You also need to know how to make people notice and believe you’re better.
A strong value proposition (VP) and knowing how to use it effectively makes this possible.
A strong value proposition means you can forget competing on price, stop worrying about competitors, and quit scrounging for customers.
Your value proposition—or the lack of it—defines your chances of success. You can easily waste years trying to succeed if you haven’t refined it and learned how to use it.
The levitating house of cards
You could say marketing without a strong value proposition is like building a house of cards.
It’s fragile, and even a small breeze–losing a big client or a new, clever competitor entering the market–will make it crumble down.
But saying that would be too optimistic.
Marketing without a strong value proposition and knowing how to use it is like trying to build a house of cards without the ground floor.
The fundamental purpose of marketing is to deliver your value proposition.
If you don’t have one or it’s weak, there’s nothing to deliver, and even the cleverest marketing cannot create consistently good results.
Yet, most people don’t know what a value proposition is and what it means, or they can’t explain and use their company’s VP. And no, it’s not a product or business description, a tagline, a feature or benefit list, a mission statement, or an advertisement.
Your unfair advantage
What if a few sentences would be enough to make people believe your product or service is the best they can find?
That’s exactly what a strong value proposition helps you do.
It’s a combination of many things but, most importantly, it’s an articulation of exactly what your customers need to know in order to choose you.
It’s not an advertisement; instead, it’s the single idea your advertisements and marketing efforts should convey.
Quite simply, the company that has the strongest value proposition in the industry also has the upper hand regardless of its size. People have the best reason to choose them, so they are capable of getting a huge majority of business.
If they know how to use their VP, everyone who’s after the same customers is in trouble.
Fortunately for you, many businesses don’t have strong value propositions. And if you create one for yourself and learn to use it before your competitors, you get that upper hand.
Your ads will “write themselves”
The main reason people struggle to get results from marketing is that they really don’t know what they’re trying to communicate.
When you create a strong value proposition and refine it, you’re likely to experience the “advertisements write themselves” effect.
You’ll gain so much clarity about the purpose of your marketing communication that you’ll find writing an ad or creating a marketing campaign becomes easy.
You don’t need to scramble to put words together that sound clever and convincing but don’t create results. You’ll know exactly what you need to say.
You can just focus on delivering your value proposition.
A strong VP also takes away the need to resort to discounts and low prices to make sales.
Forget competing on price
Do your prospects choose your competitors because they’re cheaper?
If you have a strong value proposition and use it properly, that won’t happen.
People won’t think of your competitors as your competitors or even believe they’re an option. They’ll simply understand why you’re better and choose you based on that knowledge.
They might still ask for a discount–that’s just human nature–but price won’t be the deciding factor.
You’ll stand out because, instead of attracting just anyone to you, a strong value proposition helps you get the attention of the people who are willing to pay your price.
You can also forget adding new features to your product. Or handing out more freebies. They won’t ask for those anymore.
Businesses with strong value propositions don’t need to pile features on top of features.
They’re sought out by customers not for the number of features a product or service has but for the true value they know they’ll get from the company.
Don’t be an Amazon or Fiverr commodity
You can buy practically any product or service from Amazon and Fiverr.
And if those places don’t sell what you sell, then a thousand other places do.
Among other things, the Internet has commoditized everything from luxury goods to services.
It means lower prices for consumers.
But it also means problems for product manufacturers and service providers because only one of them can offer the lowest prices.
Unless you give people a reason to choose differently, they’ll go with the least expensive option.
Even some of the most successful businesses have crumbled against competition when they’ve failed to communicate a strong value proposition.
Now it’s true that you can probably pay the bills without a strong value proposition. Just work like crazy, scrounge for work or customers, and put everything you earn back into your business. But anything more ambitious is likely a pipe dream.
However, when you refine your value proposition and learn to leverage it in your marketing, you’ll see a big increase in the business that comes to you.
You can even get picky about the people you want as your customers or clients.
Get the first pick
When I ask people, “What are your ideal customers like?” they often answer, “Anyone who’s willing to pay…”
If your business isn’t making much more than enough to pay the bills, that’s a very understandable position.
But there are characteristics you probably wish all your customers or clients would share.
An ideal customer has (at least) the following traits:
- Willing to pay more than the average customer
- Loves the product or service you sell (unlikely to request refunds)
- Trusts you enough not to question everything you say
- Respects your authority and independence (won’t micro-manage)
- Recommends you to other ideal customers
- Comes back to you for more
Sure, it’s not possible that every customer or client will be perfect, but most people put up with far too many difficult ones.
And that’s just because they don’t have a strong value proposition that attracts the ideal clients.
It works as the foundation for all your marketing because it gives you clarity about who you’re trying to attract and what those people need to hear to get interested (and buy).
A vague value proposition hardly helps you attract the kind of people you prefer. It’s not targeted to the people you want to attract.
Your competitors who leverage a well-developed value proposition target the “best” customers. So, if you’re not attracting those customers specifically, they’ll go to someone who is.
And you’re left with the people you’d rather not do business with.
Is your marketing ineffective?
The most common reason people get stuck with their businesses is that they lack a strong value proposition.
Without a strong value proposition, you can’t create an effective overall marketing strategy.
Without a strong value proposition, you can’t craft strong marketing messages.
Without a strong value proposition, you can’t get consistent results.
When businesses ignore the necessity of a strong VP, marketing becomes a double-edged sword for most of them.
You know it’s critical; you won’t succeed without marketing or if your marketing doesn’t work. But it rarely creates the results you hope for, so you don’t really enjoy doing it.
When you create a strong value proposition, however, two changes occur:
- You have a compelling marketing message, and, your marketing can now create consistent, rewarding results.
- You get clarity and focus instead of trying everything and hoping something will work. Clarity and focus make marketing something you can enjoy.
Overall, the stronger your value proposition is, the more effective your marketing will be and the more customers or clients you will get.
But you won’t just sell more or get more customers. You’ll be able to charge a premium price because of the insights you now have about your products as well as your customers.
These insights will help you focus your products and services on what people really want and what they’ll benefit from.
Refine your products or services and charge more
Your value proposition is what motivates people to buy your products or services instead of going to your competitors (and the reason they buy anything like it at all).
When you understand all sides of that rather complex equation, you can create significantly better products and services.
And not just better from your point of view, but better from your customer’s point of view and better than your competition.
That’s another–huge–competitive advantage for you.
You’ll not only have more persuasive marketing copy, but you’ll also have truly the best product or service around.
Usually crafting a value proposition comes after creating a product. And you can definitely do that.
But when you get into the details of your value proposition, you’re likely to find such great opportunities to create a better product that you’d be a fool to not take advantage of them.
The most common missing piece
When I talk with business owners, it’s usually clear that they don’t have a strong value proposition.
They spend a lot of time and money on marketing, but that time and money is mostly wasted.
They feel it’s such a complicated concept that they don’t want to touch it with a 10-foot pole.
But marketing without a strong value proposition is like a car without an engine; you can move it by pushing hard, but you’ll never win a race against competitors with strong engines.
The ironic part is that almost every business has everything they need to create a strong value proposition. They just don’t know how to turn the raw elements into something that drives success.
You already have a value proposition
If you have a customer or client (yes, just one is enough), you have a value proposition. It’s the reason that customer chose you.
But if you don’t know what your value proposition is, you can’t leverage it or make it better.
However, it’s incorrect to say, “You need to uncover your value proposition.”
That would mean it’s “ready” as soon as you find it.
Sure, if you dig deep enough, you’ll find most of its pieces.
But the way you put those pieces together is just as important as the pieces themselves.
The raw elements of your value proposition are enough to help you. They give you a general idea of what you should focus on but not much else.
They won’t make your marketing more effective or make you more successful.
Instead, the way you put those elements together into a strong, refined value proposition is what makes the difference between hoping to succeed and seeing the results come in.
Stop working without getting clear results
Have you felt like you’re not getting the results you deserve from all the hard work and marketing you do?
Do you believe you could be more successful, but something is holding you back?
The culprit is usually the lack of a strong value proposition or poor use of it.
When you don’t know what your VP is, you can only guess what you should spend your time doing.
You can only hope your marketing efforts are conveying the right ideas and interesting the right people.
You can only hope: hope things change, hope you get the results you want, hope your business moves forward.
Your value proposition is the driver of your business success. If you don’t know what it is and how to use it, you won’t be in control of your success.
You’ll keep doing what you’ve always done. If you’re lucky, your results won’t get worse than what they’ve always been.
But more often than not, the businesses that don’t move forward consistently don’t get better—they fail.
Your competitors–everyone your customers could choose instead of you–will move forward. And new, more clever or more strategic competitors will rise to the top.
If you’re standing still, they’ll run you over.
People always choose the company that’s the best option for them. Sure, some people stay with you just out of habit. But those habit customers aren’t enough for you to grow your business.
Create, refine, and leverage an unfair advantage
Your value proposition can give you an almost unfair advantage.
At least that’s what your competition will think. Have you ever felt that way when people choose your competitors for no obvious, good reason?
Becoming the one business that people choose without even thinking about it won’t happen by accident.
You need to create a strong value proposition, refine it, and use it in all your marketing.
That’s what you get from the Value Proposition Clinic.
You’ll get clear about what, exactly, your value proposition is and refine it so it’s stronger than your competitors’ value propositions.
You’ll also learn how to use your VP as the core message of your marketing to get the most out of it.
Doing all that isn’t the simplest process, but it does follow specific steps.
During the Value Proposition Clinic, you’ll be guided through each of those steps.
It has an instant, drastic impact on your success
Understanding what, exactly, you need to focus on to get the best results has an instant impact on your business. You’ll start moving consistently in the right direction.
You won’t have to guess what your marketing needs to convey.
You’ll know what to write about in your blog (if you have one) instead of wasting your time with it like many people.
You’ll know what your sales presentations and pages need to stress to create sales.
The one unfortunate result of the clinic is that you’ll probably notice how you’ve wasted time and money because you haven’t had a strong VP.
On the bright side, you’ll learn what steps to take to avoid that in the future.
And you’ll see significantly better results from all your marketing efforts–even those that have been working well for you.
You’ll experience more profit and less work. Plus, if you’ve felt like you’re spinning your wheels, you’ll find that a strong, clear value proposition is most likely the missing piece.
On the other hand, if you’ve felt like nothing changes no matter how much time, energy, and money you spend on marketing your business, it’s probably because you’re not communicating a strong-enough value proposition.
More than one value proposition?
If you only sell one product, and if that product is practically synonymous with your business, you only need one value proposition.
For example, if you’re a consultant and only sell one kind of service, your business’s value proposition is also your service’s value proposition.
But if you sell more than one product or service, you have more than one value proposition.
The first and most important is your business’s core value proposition.
It separates your business from all other businesses and gives people a good reason to choose you over your competitors.
It counts for 90% of your business’s success because it’s your focal point.
Technically, your products and services have their own value propositions that are derived from your business’s value proposition.
However, because your business’s value proposition is so critical and guides your products’ value propositions, that’s what the Value Proposition Clinic primarily focuses on.
You’ll get support after the calls
After the calls, you get answers to your questions via email.
You don’t have to worry about forgetting to ask something during the calls. As long as the question relates to something we talked about, I’m happy to help.
If you use the refined value proposition in your marketing, but you don’t see a difference in your results within a few months, you get all your money back.
It’s that simple.
You either make your business significantly more successful, or you pay nothing.
Get an unfair advantage
The Value Proposition Clinic will help you create a clear and refined value proposition for your business.
You’ll know what key elements your prospects must believe in order to buy your products or services.
You’ll learn how to persuade people to believe and remember those things.
And you’ll start using your value proposition to get maximum results from it.
The most common reason people don’t reach their business goals is the lack of a strong value proposition. Or poor use of it.
Create, refine, and use your value proposition–make it your unfair advantage.
If you’re interested, contact me for details and to make sure the Value Proposition Clinic fits your situation. Send me an email, and tell me a little about your business (what do you sell, to whom, and how) and what kind of goals you have. Send your email to contact (at) petersandeen (dot) com.
Most business owners try to survive in an arena with at least some competitors who have an unfair, invisible advantage over them.
That unfair advantage is a strong value proposition.
It’s the reason customers choose you over every other option they have. It’s the one message your marketing must convey to be effective.
You can spend countless hours working on your business without seeing the results you’re after.
You can waste an almost endless amount of money on marketing without getting any returns.
You can–as most people unfortunately do–get stuck with your business to the point where it starts to impact your personal life.
All because you don’t know what your value proposition is, it’s not strong enough, or you don’t know how to use it to create real results.
During the Value Proposition Clinic you’ll create and refine a strong value proposition for your business.
You’ll make it into something people believe and remember. Something that shifts their thinking to make you an obvious choice for them. And you’ll learn to use it effectively.
If you’re not confident that you know the few sentences that are enough to convince prospects to choose you, the Value Proposition Clinic is guaranteed to change your business.