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3 simple steps to developing a customer value proposition

3 simple steps to developing a customer value proposition

A clear value proposition helps a business articulate with clarity what it does, who it does it for and what’s different about the way it does it. It’s concise and most importantly based on what your customers actually think about your product or service, not what you, the business owner, think they should think.


Step 1. – Listen to your customers

Get to know what your customers really think. Do some research, online, by phone, use a third party, maybe just talk to them, however you choose, just make sure you’re really listening to them. You want the unvarnished truth, the details, the experience and you have to do your best to forget your own views of how wonderful your product is and not let your views get in the way of what your customers are actually saying.

Step 2. – Develop your proposition

Develop your proposition, by reviewing the feedback you have and building a series of statements that answer these simple questions:

  • What is the service I offer?
  • Who do I serve with it?
  • What are the benefits my customers get from my product?
  • Why is it better than what my competition offer?

Step 3. – Test your proposition

Test your proposition. With your team, with friends, with business acquaintances, with customers. Make sure it fits, it helps people to understand what you do and why you’re right for them. Listen to the feedback and modify as necessary until you have it right.


In a larger organisation there may be many more phases, but in essence these three are the key.

Now, armed with your new proposition you can look at how you express your business to your market and see whether your sales pitch, website etc. need updating. Remember your proposition probably isn’t something that you quote word for word, or paste all over your web site. It’s the foundation from which you build your marketing and sales materials.

Now you have a value proposition, you have a story that helps your sales team sell, helps your marketers market and makes choosing you the right choice for your customers.

Lead generation for professional services companies

Lead generation for professional services companies

Differentiation – that’s the challenge faced by all professional services companies. What makes you any different from the rest of them? Invariably it comes down to the same thing – your people. Which is fine if you’re in front of a potential client – they can see your people, talk to them, understand their depth and breadth of knowledge. If you’re failing repeatedly at this stage, then you need to take a serious look at the people you have doing the pitch. But what if you can’t get in front of enough clients? That’s where marketing that makes you stand out will play a part.

What does that marketing need to look like? Well, here’s a one sentence marketing strategy for professional services businesses:

“Publish timely, relevant content for your audience that provides a credible demonstration of your breadth and depth of expertise and make it easy for potential clients to find you and get in touch.”

The first thing to note is that this isn’t about interrupting people. It’s about getting noticed by them as they go about their business and providing sufficient relevancy to make them take real note and contact you at a time that suits them. Let’s break this down a little further:

  • Publish: whether that’s yourself or via another channel, get your content out there, make sure there’s plenty of it
  • Timely and relevant: Hook into what’s going on in the market that your client operates in, make sure you do it when they’ll be paying attention
  • Content: Blog, press release, news story, video, podcast – whatever your choice of medium, let the story shine through
  • Your audience: this is about them not you – talk about what matters to them, what problems you solve for them, not how great you are
  • Credible: Your clients give you credibility, not your subjective opinion of yourself
  • Easy to get in touch: This is the key piece: by providing relevant content, you’ll get found more; by making it easy to get in touch, your customers will find you, and you won’t have to hound them down.

None of this is rocket science, but so many people fail to see the importance of getting these basics right.