Does your company have a unique value proposition? If you do, are your sales and marketing team able to consistently communicate it to customers and prospects? If the answer to either of these questions is no, youre not alone. Dr. Flint McLaughlin, Director of MECLabs has recently released an online course on developing unique value propositions that answers these and many other questions. Crafting your unique value presentation is the first step in developing an integrated sales and marketing strategy that aligns all of your lead generation channels, including inbound marketing. The reason why you should have a unique value proposition is simple: more people say yes when you present your unique value proposition more effectively.
What is a Unique Value Proposition?
At it's core, a unique value propositions provides an answer to the question: If I am your ideal prospect, why should I buy from you rather than your competitors? There are four elements of this question that are worthy of further examination:
- You will note that the question starts with the words If I. Your unique value proposition answers a first-person question in the minds of your customer - so what? Your unique value proposition should be a because answer that gives your customer a reason to take your desired action when she is besieged with sales and marketing messages in all shapes and forms.
- The unique value proposition question references an ideal prospect. We have discussed the concept of an ideal customer profile previously in this blog. In crafting your unique value proposition, it's important to focus on a specific customer segment. This requires you to focus your growth efforts on those types of buyers that will benefit most from your offerings and likely will also be high-margin customers.
- The unique value proposition question contains the phrase why should I? It should be the culmination of a careful argument that answers that questions and provides proof points on why it is true. It's important to note that your unique value profile should be based on customer logic, not company logic.
- The question also includes the phrase rather than your competitors. Your unique value proposition should differentiate you from your competitors. In at least one way, you should have an "only" factor.
The Inverted Sales Funnel
Dr. McLaughlin presents an interesting alternative to the traditional concept of the sales funnel. Rather than a sales funnel that is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, Dr. McLaughlin presents the concept of an inverted sales funnel in which prospects "climb" up the sides of the funnel to the ultimate "yes" at the top of the funnel (a sale.) Prospects climb up the sides of the funnel by means of a series of micro yes decisons. In a simple example:
- The prospect comes to your website and clicks on a call to action. (Yes 1)
- The prospect reads the headline of your landing page and decides to read the body of the landing page. (Yes 2)
- The prospect reads the body of your landing page and decides to complete the form to receive the content offer. (Yes 3)
- The prospect consumes the content offer and decides to register for a free consultation. (Yes 4)
- The prospect buys your offering. (Ultimate Yes)
Imagine all of the different ways a prospect can fall out of the inverted sales funnel even in this simple sales process. They could say no at any point in the process and fall out. They could receive conflicting or competing marketing messages from others that could cause them to fall out. They could evaluate you against the competition and fall out. An effective unique value proposition is what provides the force to propel your prospects up your sales funnel to the ultimate yes, a sale.
Crafting a unique value proposition is the first step in developing an integrated growth strategy that aligns all of your lead generation channels. We have been very impressed with the MECLabs methodology for crafting unique value propositions and are helping our customers develop their UVPs as the first step in developing a growth strategy. It is the first step in developing a strategy because the unique value proposition is foundational and is included in every subsequent element of the strategy. Do you have a unique value proposition you'd like to share?