Editor’s Note: Ms. Mosher tackles a challenge we all experience regularly. That is clearly stating what we do, how we serve a client and what value one gains from a business relationship with us. One obstacle is overcoming our urge to speak in processed, polished prose. We believe the key is to describe yourself as you would over coffee versus in a talking points memo. Simple, easy to understand terms that resonate your passion for what you do. We would welcome your comments on your experience in presenting yourself and your business to others.
I’m asked this question almost daily, “What is it that you do?” In a matter of seconds, I can stumble and fumble for the words or have a clearly defined answer that inspires further conversation.
Two Key Mistakes to Avoid:
Two key mistakes that typically occur as firms create their value proposition:
1. The value proposition does not trigger others to ask questions.
2. The team is unable to communicate the firm’s message.
A value proposition cannot be a vague description of the products and services you offer but should create a distinct fingerprint to set your practice apart from others. Your message needs to communicate in one or two sentences who you serve, what your business does, and why it is valuable.
Three Questions You Need to Answer:
These three questions need to be answered prior to creating your value proposition. You are welcome to use any of the following examples:
1. Who do you serve?
- Describe your target market
2. What are the needs and challenges of your clients and prospects?
- Tax efficient investing
- Estate planning
- Knowing how much money is enough to retire
- Income generation
- How to respond to market volatility
3. How do you offer value to your clients? – How will you satisfy their needs?
- Ease nervousness during market volatility
- Relieve major concerns about retirement
- Ensure their legacy will live on for the next generation
- Develop wealth management plans based on personal goals, objectives, and risk tolerance
Avoid These Mistakes When Creating a Unique Value Proposition, continued
Extra Tips to Consider:
- Create interest by telling a short story.
- Focus on your client’s point of view.
- Choose two or three keywords – using a few industry keywords will likely spark interest and motivate others to ask more about your unique value offering.
- Differentiate yourself from your competitors – you will not be able to accomplish this based on products alone.
- Keep it simple and professional – avoid trying to develop a catchy phrase that ends up sounding silly.
A Value Proposition Template:
Use the template below to start crafting your value proposition.
“We serve [target market] who [describe clients/prospects needs and challenges] our [describe product/services using keywords] that [describe the value and benefit your clients/prospects receive].”
Position yourself as someone who understands where your clients and prospects are coming from, where they are going, and what they need along the journey to reach their destination.