Using Your Value Proposition as a Tool for Business Development

Is your value proposition generic? Can you easily replace your name with a competitor’s name and people will think it’s theirs? Is it tired and dated? If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to rethink your value proposition. A well-crafted value proposition can be your ticket to getting your foot in the door, but professionals often get stuck with one that doesn’t demonstrate any value. A perfect example is “A Commitment to Excellence”. Your value proposition might not be a one-size-fits-all approach; however, you might have a baseline that you can build off of and tweak depending on the prospective client.

When crafting your value proposition, consider the following elements:

  • Make it timely – Research and identify potential problems that your prospective clients might be facing. Your services are intended to fix a problem, so be sure to identify what that problem is in advance.
  • Be solution-oriented – Your value proposition should present not only the problem, but a well thought out solution. By doing your homework, you can identify the potential solutions before even talking with the prospective client.
  • Invite a deeper conversation – A more in-depth conversation should be warranted after delivering your value proposition. You’ve made the other side curious enough to want more information.

The above was discussed in a presentation at the Legal Marketing Association’s Continuing Marketing Education conference. A great example presented of an on-target value proposition was that of an intellectual property lawyer using an “IP Heat Map”. He would identify gaps in a company’s intellectual property protection and create what he called a “heat map” filled with potential hot spots. You can imagine being on the other end of the phone and hearing that your company has major exposure.

Before you meet with a potential client, brainstorm how you can tailor your value proposition to increase your chances of winning the business.

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