Imagine for a moment, a young man approaches a young lady. They chat for a few minutes and then he asks her if she would go out to dinner with him. What will her answer be? Will she say yes, or will she say no? More importantly, what are the factors she will use to make her decision? What could he do to increase the likelihood of getting the date?
You may not realize it, but a similar set of circumstances occur when someone visits your website. On your website you ask your visitors to choose you – to respond to your call to action. How can you increase the likelihood of getting the “date?” Just like the young lady in our story, your visitors have to decide if there’s a good reason to choose you. That reason has a name; it’s called a value proposition. The chances of your visitors choosing you increases if they find your value proposition interesting or desirable.
But how do you come up with a good value proposition? Sometimes it’s very easy, but most of the time it’s difficult and confusing. Your value proposition should enable you to compete with anyone in your field. What can you offer that your competitors can’t or don’t? On what basis do you want to compete?
The cost of not having a good value proposition is high. If you don’t give your visitors a good reason to choose you, very few will respond to you. I’ve seen this in action. I have two friends you are exceptional cooks: one is the wife of my pastor, the other is an executive chef that owns several restaurants. Several years ago, they both happened to put on a cooking class within a few weeks of each other. The first was put on by the pastor’s wife and about six people showed up. She was clearly disappointed, but that disappointment turned to perplexity when two weeks later the chef had a standing-room-only crowd enroll in his cooking class. What made the difference? The chef, with his association to several successful restaurants had a powerful value proposition. Most of those in attendance had eaten at those restaurants and the idea of being able to prepare similar food at home was of great interest to them. Few, if any, of the potential participants knew what food prepared by the pastor’s wife tasted like – hence, there was no value proposition to motivate attendance in her cooking class.
I personally know how difficult it is to come up with a good value proposition. My experience was difficult and confusing, but through that experience I’ve learned how to help others with this difficult task. A key aspect of our website development process is helping our clients identify or develop their value proposition if they don’t already have one.
There are many different approaches that can be used in developing a value proposition, but here are three you may find helpful:
Offer something unique. This may be a unique product or service. If you’ve invented something that solves a problem your visitors have, you have a built-in value proposition. But sometimes it’s you yourself that is unique. One of my clients is a professional musician with a beautiful, distinctive voice. Her voice is her value proposition, and we feature it prominently on her website with multiple audio tracks. Do you have something that is uniquely you? If so, how could that be presented as valuable to your visitors?
Having a different approach. Approximately 34.2 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. I’m one of them. I remember an incident shortly after I was diagnosed that hit home for me. I came into the office one morning and a coworker was at her desk crying. She had half a candy bar on her desk and was getting ready to throw it into the trash. I asked her what was wrong. “I just got a call from my doctor,” she said through a choked voice – “I have diabetes. I’ll never be able to have another bite of candy again” she said, tears running down her cheek. I related to this strongly because just a few weeks earlier I’d had the same experience (without the tears, but with equal sorrow). To get an idea of what this means, think about NEVER being able to eat the foods you love again. Why am I telling you this? Because I have a client, a nutritionist, specializing in treating diabetes who has a different approach. Her unique approach is summarized with her slogan, “It’s not about never, it’s about how much.” She works with her patients to help them discover how much of their favorite foods they can safely eat. Of course, she guides them toward also making good nutritional choices, but she remembers that we all need some of the things we truly enjoy from time to time. Her value preposition, her willingness to include enjoyment foods in her patient’s diets, is a great value for her patients and a successful draw for her.
Give added value. Going above and beyond is another way to develop your value proposition. As an example, there are a lot of web design companies out there and the competition can be overwhelming. So how did we, Drake Web Development, develop our value proposition? We figured out we can offer more value. Instead of just designing attractive websites, we design attractive websites that go beyond being beautiful. We know how to help our clients attract the types of visitors they’re seeking. We work with our clients to creating messaging that is compelling and produces the kind of results our clients need. (What good is a beautiful website if it doesn’t give you the results you need?) Doing more is an excellent value proposition; ask yourself, in your field of endeavor, is it possible to offer more meaningful value to your visitor than your competition?
If you don’t have a value proposition we can help. Just schedule a free consultation with us and we’ll be more than happy to help you find the one that’s perfect for you. Your value proposition is the basis upon which you compete. Just think about the clarity having a value proposition brings. It provides the direction and focus of your marketing and promotional efforts, it helps you prioritize your goals, and it guides how you interact with your visitors.
Imagine your visitors landing on your website to find that you offer them something they would really like to have. When you ask them to respond to your call to action, they are eager to do so – that’s why you have a website, now isn’t it.
P.S. Thinking of competing on price – charging less than everyone else? That’s a very difficult way to go; there’s always someone willing to go out of business faster than you. Unless you’ve figured out how to cut your costs significantly and permanently over what your competition pays, you’re living only as long as you can continue to lose money. Once your cash reserves are gone, so are you. And remember, in this life, permanent is always temporary. Instead, work at developing a relationship with your visitors that focuses on loyalty and respect.