A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of watching 50 IEEE CNET consultants help one of their own develop a compelling value proposition. It was really fun. Here's what happened.
I had just presented "Creating a compelling value proposition: Turning your solutions from a 'so what' to a 'must have.'" Then, I announced that we needed a client who wanted to improve his or her value proposition.
This would be his or her opportunity to benefit from the others' advice. The rest of the group would get a chance to use what they had just learned; and I would have the opportunity to see others try to apply the methodology that I had developed to help my clients ensure their marketing messages hit the mark.
Finding clients can be hard
No one volunteered to be the client. Instead, a wise guy in the back of the room said, "That's our perennial problem, we need clients." And in so doing he raised his hand as a qualified prospect.
I invited him to join me at the front of the room to tell us about his business and take a first pass at articulating his value proposition. The others were charged with helping him develop a value proposition that would meet six criteria: It needed to...
- Speak to a pressing concern
- Focus on a single benefit
- Be specific rather than general
- Be clear and concise
- Create a sense of urgency
- Mitigate the buyer's risk
Good value propositions address a pressing problem
Then, the consultation began. The client told us that he developed fully documented software for embedded systems. The group then had a series of discussions and posed questions.