As important as prospecting and marketing are to your practice, these activities can be all for naught without a good understanding of your value proposition. Surely you’ve heard this phrase before and have some idea of what it means. But clearly understanding the term and how it specifically applies to your business, can enhance your operation.
There are many ways people think of a value proposition. First, as a broad, general idea of what distinguishes you from your competitors. What does your firm excel at or specialize in, that others in your area don’t? Why should consumers seek you out over XYZ Financial Group down the street? What service levels are inherently promised to new clients?
Often when discussing marketing plans with new agents, they will emphasize they want to highlight their “value proposition,” but really mean to simply market whatever they do. This is the more casual use of the term value proposition.
But there is a more specific and detailed use of value proposition that many firms ignore. In its more proper usage, a value proposition is a written statement, along the same lines as a mission/vision statement.
This statement can be focused internally, as a way for you and your team to align your business. The statement can also be focused externally, as a way for consumers to understand why they should come to you.
What’s In A Good Value Proposition?
At the most basic level, a value proposition explains the benefits your firm provides to your target market and how well you specifically do this. A value proposition condenses the whole arc of your business into a few sentences. It is the recipe for your operation.
There are four basic elements to a value proposition statement:
- Your consumers
- The specific problem(s) you solve
- The service you provide
- How you are distinguished from competitors
Writing A Value Proposition
Understand Your Target Market
Advisors and agents often have a very vague idea about who their target market is, especially if they can service many consumer segments. You can have value propositions for each consumer segment you target, or one overarching value proposition the encompasses your whole practice. The point is to have a definite idea of the individuals you want as clients—what do they need, why do they need this, when do they need it, and why is what you do relevant to them.
Understand The Problem
What problems/needs are facing your consumers?
Understand Your Service
How do your services solve the problem? Why does a consumer need your services?
Understand Your Uniqueness
Sometimes what distinguishes you from your competitors can be experience. Sometimes it can be a specialty or area of focus. Sometimes it can be an approach. But you should really consider what makes you unique with as much specificity as possible.