Why the #800 Gorilla Is Your Friend
Here's a thought I want you to live by and remember all the way to your grave:
While buyers are looking at you and your competitors they are not just looking at the features of what you offer. They are actually are looking for a reason to choose one company or business over another.
Buyers actually want someone to make the buying decision easy for them. They will go with the vendor who stands out from the crowd.
Here's an example:
Recently I was working for a SaaS company in a very competitive space. Even though they were competent in what they provided their sales were stagnant. My job was to come up with new copy to spruce things up a bit. When we got to the discussion of value propositions the conversation hit a wall. Anything I proposed was quickly shot down.
I tried to explain that if I looked at their website and those of three or four competitors I found no difference – no reason to choose one over the over.
In fact, realizing I had nothing to lose, at one point I copied the language from four websites - one being their own. I lined everything up side by side on a plain sheet of paper and said, “Tell me which one is your own.”
The 800# gorilla in the room:
I said, “If you can't distinguish one company from another, how do you expect a buyer to do it?”
If buyers can't find a clear winner they have no reason to choose one business' product or service over another. They are left to choose soley based on the cheapest price and taking the luck of the draw.
Value propositions give buyers a reason to pick you. They give them the confidence they need to pull the buying trigger. They set you apart.
That's why it is important to avoid overly used words like “best”, "oldest", "trusted" or other generic descriptors. It's also important to avoid language that sounds like everyone and anyone else in your industry or business could have written it.
As you look at your competitors to find their value propositions:
Who stands out?
Who gives the prospective client or customer a reason to choose them over everyone else?
Several years ago I actually commissioned a study regarding the correlation between strong online value propositions and company growth. Three thousand businesses were looked at over six major industry classifications. The result?
Only 1% of businesses online had a clear message about why any buyer should choose them - and they were the fastest growing (based on the number of YoY sales, not size of the business).
Under 3% "kinda came close" and they ranked next in rapid growth.
Over 96% just "showed up", and sales were less than stellar.
Yes, getting this right is that important!
Rules in the Gorilla Cage:
Don't use generic, non-descript terms like "best" - anyone can say that and most do. Being "best" isn't good enough.
Don't use industry jargon, even though everyone else does. Stand out for the buyers that are looking for someone to help them make their purchasing descision easier. Give them the "why".
Be unique, truthful and easily remembered. Don't be afraid to change up your game with something new - because I'm 96% certain (based on the study cited above) your old value proposition needs tweaking.