A 2009 survey of decision makers in B2B companies found that "86% of the 'unique benefits' touted by vendors were not perceived as unique or having enough impact to create preference," writes Tim Riesterer in a recent article at MarketingProfs. "Is it any wonder you are having a hard time getting customers to start sales cycles with you?"

But fear not: This disconnect can be solved with a few careful steps, Riesterer says. He offers three rules for creating preference in your B2B value propositions:

  1. Put it in context. What really gets customers excited, Riesterer notes, is "hearing about clear, unique benefits that address their business needs." Strategic agenda items such as "streamline my supply chain" are what people will pay you for, he notes. Make sure the needs you address are presented "in the context of the person who can make a purchase decision."
  2. Show it in contrast. "If your prospects ... can't see themselves eliminating challenges and positively changing their strategic agenda ... you don't have a value proposition," Riesterer says. "Value lies in the contrast between the pain and the gain."
  3. Prove it with corroboration. When you're trying to get prospects to care enough to choose you, it's important to create "proof points" to corroborate your solution on two levels, he advises. First, develop points that will corroborate or "turn up the heat" on the problem (cite industry stats, for example). Second, use proof points to "corroborate your claims to be able to solve the problem in a meaningful way" (think client success stories).

The Po!nt: Think before you propose. "Use [these] three rules when creating your value propositions, and you'll discover the difference between preference and parity," Riesterer concludes.

Source: MarketingProfs. Read the full article.

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