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Business | Web | Friday, April 26th, 2013

Value Propositions and your website

Value propowhatsit..?

Value Proposition - just another buzzword?“Value proposition.”

Buzzword bingo, inpenetrable jargon or simply good, old-fashioned plain English?

On the face of it, it’s another of those meaningless phrases that consultants throw out there for fun and profit.

But take a second look.

Value. Proposition. It’s simply a statement of the value that you are promising to your potential customers.

From a customer’s perspective, it’s simply “what’s in it for me?”.

It’s why your business exists. Without a value proposition you have no purpose; no reason for your prospect to pick up the phone to talk to you or email you or buy something from you. Without a value proposition there is nothing at all which makes you stand out as different from any of your competitors; your business will either wither away or become embroiled in a race to the bottom as you can only compete on price.

You already have a value proposition, even if you don’t realise it

You will likely have a value proposition, of course. There will be a reason why your customers picked you over your competitors; it could be that you excel in your particular field, offer an extended service beyond that offered by competitors, or you might be really good at managing projects and keeping clients in-the-loop. Or it could be something completely different. One thing is for certain – being first in the telephone directory isn’t good enough nowadays; customers WILL read your website (and those of competitors) before commiting to work with you.

It might be that you are well-established and rely on word-of-mouth and referrals. They may have seen some previous work that you’ve done. In this case your customers are spreading a value proposition for you. But unless you define and use a value proposition you’ll struggle to directly attract new business coming in from, for example, a web search. And you’ll probably find it trickier to convert referrals into customers as people more and more compare providers online.

You might not know why your customers chose you over other providers – it’s this which you should figure out because failing to do so and not shouting it from the rooftops means that you are failing to connect with the types of customers you are good at working with.

You’re probably adept at explaining your value proposition to prospects, even if you don’t call it that. You’re certainly unlikely to pronounce “this is my value proposition…”, but a value proposition it is nonetheless. Online, you do not have the nuance of conversation; the body language and facial expressions and utterances which tell you that the prospect “gets it”; you have to be CLEAR and BOLD instead. And that’s why you need to define your proposition.

THAT’S what “value proposition” means. It’s not difficult to understand – although defining it can be a much trickier proposition.

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