BusDev and the SME. Part 2. Why should I buy from you?

Developing a killer value proposition.

I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m assuming you might not know how a Weibull Distribution might impact your business! Neither did I.

Microsoft Research analysed 205,873 different Web pages and crunched through more than 2 billion page visits to ascertain that the average time people take to decide if they wish to remain on a web site is 10-20 seconds. And that page dwell pattern conforms to a Weibull Distribution!

one second

Tick Tock. Tick Tock.

Combine that information with another study that describes where B2B buyers gain the information that makes them buy. The 2012 Buyersphere survey established that the top two information channels for European B2B buyers are supplier websites and web searches.

Bottom line, if you cannot:

a. Be found by the inquisitive B2B buyer and

b. Retain that person on your site for more than half a minute…..

…..game over!

This is why your business needs a killer value proposition and you need it on your web site……now!

The Proposition

The Proposition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

a. What is a Value Proposition

It’s not an advertising strapline or slogan, such as: “Because I’m worth it” (L’Oréal) or “It’s the real thing” (Coke) or “Ah, Bisto” (er Bisto!).

A Value Proposition is a brief, simple, jargon-free statement explaining how your product solves their problem and why they should buy it.

It’s the benefit statement, the point of differentiation, the unique selling point. A sentence or small paragraph that stops the potential customer from hitting the go-back or X key in those crucial early seconds on your site.

b.Value Proposition characteristics

It should be believable, unique (or at least different) and contain the promise of something important that is of real interest to the potential customer, such as: a solved problem (no more downtime), a key benefit (improved RoI) or an appeal to status (buy the brand leader).

c. Value Proposition examples

Here are some examples of well structured value propositions:

Dropbox syncs your important work across all your devices. Your files are backed up and you can even return to older version or restore deleted files. And getting started with your team has never been simpler.

Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web. Capture anything, access anywhere, find things fast.

Pret A Manger creates handmade natural food avoiding the obscure chemicals, additives and preservatives common to so much of the ‘prepared’ and ‘fast’ food on the market today.

ARM provides efficient, low-power chip intelligence making affordable, easy-to-use electronic innovations come to life. Our technology powers over 95% of smartphones. It breaks down the barriers of time and space, enabling limitless sharing of people’s lives to transform the way we communicate, work and play.

d. Now what?

I’m tempted to say, just get on with it, but my experience is that developing a good value proposition does not come easily to many business leadership teams.

1. Agree at a senior level that this is important.

2. Define your customer segments.

3. Clarify the problem(s) you solve and/or the benefit(s) you deliver to your customer. Establish the points of differentiation with your competitors. Thinking in terms like “We help Client X do Y by providing Z” may free up this creative process.

4. When you think you’ve developed a workable Value Proposition, trial it with a few prospects and see how they react. Did they “get it”? 10-20 seconds is all you should need remember! Think “elevator pitch”.

5. Integrate it into your web site landing pages and incorporate it into other marketing media and channels.

Look at other companies in your space and you will notice that very few clearly articulate the benefit they provide to the customer. If your business presents a clear value proposition to casual enquirers, you immediately have an advantage as you distinguish yourself from the competition. 

In the next few blogs we’ll take a look at how to become more visible online.


About This Week in Business

I'm CEO @YesGrowth a leading AltFin company which provides syndicated, short term working capital to UK businesses in any sector. Connect with me on LinkedIn or Google+ and follow me on Twitter.
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