How to Develop Your Value Proposition

Value Proposition
••• Getty Images / Reggie Casagrande

Your value proposition is the promise that you give to a customer that assures them that you will deliver value to them. It's a statement that explains the benefit that you have to offer, who you are offering the benefit to, and why you are the best person to deliver that benefit. It is important when developing your value proposition that it be clear and concise.

A value proposition has three components: 

  • The target buyer
  • The problem you solve
  • The reason you are the best candidate for the job

To create an effective value proposition, start by brainstorming and focus on what needs your target demographic group have in common. This can be accomplished by doing market research. Ask, "what do they all want that my business can provide? What is important to them?" 

Keep in mind that the purpose of your value proposition is to identify and satisfy an unmet need that your target market possesses. Once you've found a common need, you'll start developing your value proposition around that need. 

Why Is the Development of a Value Proposition so Important? 

A well-thought-out and well-written value proposition can help you grow your business. 

Here is a value proposition that belongs to a sales consultant: 

Our clients grow their business, large or small, typically by a minimum of 30-50 percent a year. And, they accomplish this without working 80 hour weeks and sacrificing their personal lives.

This value proposition is powerful and grabs your attention because of the stellar numbers and benefits to the consumer. It pulls you in and makes you want to know more. It also accomplishes the following: 

  • Creates a strong differential between you and your competitors
  • Attracts the right prospects and increases not only the quantity but the quality of prospective leads
  • Gains market share in your targeted segments
  • Assists you in enhancing tools that will help you close more business
  • Improves your operation efficiency

3 Things to Do When Developing Your Proposition

Define: Define and identify the problem that you solve. What is the problem or the pain that your product and/or service solves? 

Solve: Who does it solve the problem and/or pain for? Who do you provide the solution for? 

Differentiate: What sets you apart from your competition? Is it experience? Price? A special skill? You have to make this clear in your proposition so that there is no hesitation in your target market selecting you.

Test Your Marketing Proposition

The biggest mistake that businesses make when developing their marketing proposition is to create a statement that is too vague or too confusing. To make sure you aren't making this mistake see if you can recite your marketing proposition in ten words or less. If you can get it down to 10 ten words or less, you are well on your way to a marketing proposition that will work, but you have to test it.

Ask yourself the following questions: 

Is my Marketing Proposition Relevant?: I am not referring to relevance internally, I'm talking about relevant externally, especially to your target market.

Is It Believable?: A compelling message is important, but it also must be believable and credible.

Can I Defend It?: You must be able to own your statement, and, if necessary, be able to defend it if it's questioned.

Is It Flexible?: Can it grow along with your business if necessary? Your marketing proposition will not work if it confines you and creates a barrier to future business expansion and growth.

Is It Emotional?: Your prospects and customers have to connect with you emotionally. Your proposition has to resonate with them on a gut level or they won't connect and there won't be any buy-in.