“A Value Proposition is a statement that a company uses to summarise why a consumer should buy a product or use their service. This statement convinces a potential consumer that your product or service will add more value or better solve a problem than other similar offerings will” – Investopedia
B2B Businesses use this statement to target potential clients. As such, it is often responsible for the first impression that a prospect ahs of your business.
When you first meet a prospect or talk to them on the phone, you have a very short time to make a first impression – as short as 7 seconds. This means your value proposition has to be clear and succinct enough to make an impact when a prospect glances at your signage at an event, reads a piece of collateral, or visits a page on your website. The key to an effective value proposition is to explain how a product solves a client’s pain point. Communicate the specifics of how it adds value to a customer and give reasons why it’s better than competitors’ products on the market. It should be concise and speak to the main factors that affect the customer’s decision-making process.
So now it should be clear what you’re trying to do with your value proposition, but what should you avoid? Some of the following are the most common mistakes B2B Marketers make when writing their value proposition.
Don’t Use too Much Industry Jargon
In your business, you will likely use industry terms and buzzwords frequently because everyone inside the company is familiar with them. It’s important to remember, however, that prospects, even in the same industry, may not use these buzzwords as often as you do. Don’t just assume they are as up-to-date on new industry terms as you are. If they see unfamiliar jargon and words they don’t recognise, they’ll likely stop paying attention.
Don’t Put too Much Emphasis on Unknown Products or Services
This is similar to the above. Don’t overcomplicate things as it only puts people off. Prospects don’t want to have to learn acronyms or new product and service names to understand your value proposition.
Even if you have an innovative, new to the market product, it will take a while to become known, especially if you currently have no competition. This is of course, a good place to be for business owners, but try to articulate it in simple language, in a way that is self-explanatory for people who haven’t come across it before.
Don’t Use a Tagline
At 3-6 words, a tagline is most often too brief to deliver your value proposition. However, it takes part of your prospect’s limited attention. Taglines may be snappy but they don’t give enough information to tell a prospect what you actually do.
It’s a known fact that when it comes to marketing, the more you say the less people take in. As such, once you have a prospect’s attention, it’s better to focus on communicating your full value proposition to them.
Don’t Use ‘Top-Line’ or ‘Bottom-Line’ Promises
Businesses commonly use phrases about impacting a client’s top or bottom line in their value propositions. This should be avoided firstly because it is overused, but also because B2B prospects are wary of phrases like this. B2B buyers are very market savvy and know that claims of impacting their top or bottom lines are vague. They are more likely to respond to definite results that are related to the products or services you will provide them.
How do you know if Your Value Proposition is Effective?
Testing a Value Proposition is easier for B2C companies who can run landing page tests to efficiently see which is better for converting. With B2B businesses however, it is a lot more difficult to test effectively as there is typically a lower volume of visitors to their site, less on-site conversions and a number of other influences that affect a prospect’s buying decision.
If you’ve put together a value proposition and want to work out if it’s likely to have an impact, it is beneficial to test it. Show it to 10 or more potential target prospects anonymously. You should then ask them what the company does, who they target and what value they offer. From their responses, you’ll be able to tell how clear (and effective) your value proposition is.
At the Lead Agency, our specialist marketing consultants know how to engage your clients with an effective value proposition. We work with you to define your business objectives and what you offer your clients in order to create a value proposition that really stands out. We ensure your value proposition is clear and avoids hype while communicating the true value that your business offers its customers. Get in touch with us today for more information.