For our second On the Menu installment in June, Sara Abernethy of Cloud Giants taught our group how to create a value proposition, rather than a standard elevator pitch.
Sales can be a daunting task and also holds many different connotations, so Sara started things off by asking the group to share words that come to mind when they thought of “sales.” Words like ‘intimidating,’ ‘money,’ ‘charisma’ and ‘disgust’ quickly populated the chat. Sara’s mission for the following 50 minutes was to change the way people thought of sales, because as she explained, everyone does it, even if they don’t know they are selling!
To understand the value proposition, we first have to understand the sales process and the psychology behind it. You need to ask yourself, “What does the customer need?” and “How can I bring value to them?” When it comes to value propositions, you want to lead with empathy to ensure that you are truly understanding what your customer’s needs and their perspective.
- Education: A potential customer becomes aware of the service or product.
- First contact: The customer browses your social media/website
- Why you’re awesome: The customer searches for ways you can provide them the best product. This is an important step that creates an opportunity for personal connection.
- Proposal and price: The customer looks for the value exchanged for their money.
- Decision and close: They then decide if it is worth the exchange based on all the above aspects.
To help the group learn to be better empathizers in business, Sara broke us up into groups and provided three questions to brainstorm:
- What is at least one problem you can solve for your customer?
- What is at least one thing you would be feeling if you had the same problem?
- What makes you stand out in your field?
Answering these questions in relation to a problem a current or potential customer is having can help you build a better understanding of that person, form a stronger emotional connection, and expand on your proposition. As Sara said, “You are the greatest solution to your customer’s problem!”
The business side of this session was to further fine-tune your entrepreneurial skills. The beyond was to further connect you with your customers on an empathetic level. Together they give you a solid value proposition with any problem you (your customer) are facing. Watch the session here.
Keep learning from On The Menu by joining us for the next two sessions: