Posts Tagged ‘value proposition statement’

In Sales, the Problem with the Word “Help”

How many times in the course of a sales day, do you read or hear “I help…?” In reviewing visitors to my LinkedIn profile, I can say over 50% of the headlines use this common verb of help.

The problem with this word is it does not differentiate you or your business from all the other people and businesses helping other people and businesses. With the very crowded marketplace and where 97.7% of all businesses have under 20 employees, differentiation is key to growing any SMB.

Sales Coaching Tip: Differentiation is essential to attracting sales leads

When any word is used too frequently, people become immune to the word.  It does not take hold in their minds and in some instances creates a negative, emotional reaction. Your sales goal should Be the Red Jacket in the Sea of Gray Suits.

There are a plethora of verbs that can be substituted for this word of help such as:

  • Facilitate
  • Build
  • Expand
  • Connect
  • Strengthen
  • Work
  • Align

Additionally a goal statement could be equally effective as in “Our Goal” is to:

  • Connect you with the right decision makers to increase sales
  • Strengthen your internal customers to reduce high, costly turnover
  • Align your people and processes to ensure efficiency, effectiveness while increasing profits

The goal statement demonstrates not only what you do, but the desired end results of your solutions. How many salespeople fail to include the results in their messaging be it their 30 second infomercial, their positioning statement or their value proposition statement?

Sales Coaching Tip: Potential customers want the end results of your solutions.

Sometimes we must rethink what we say and how what we say is received by our intended audience (think ideal customer). Words do matter and even more importantly the impact of those words really matter.

So if you are determined to use the word help, then connect it to the results of your solution.

Reach out and schedule a call with Leanne by CLICKING HERE.

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Business Ethics or Corporate Ethics Do Matter in Marketing

Marketing is about attracting attention and building relationships.  Your marketing message is a reflection of your business ethics or corporate ethics whether you wish to believe it or not.

business-ethics-or-corporate-ethicsThis reflection can be seen through a variety of daily business activities.

For example, do you answer your phone in a timely fashion?  Does your voice mail message provide a time frame in which you will return the call?  Do you honor that time commitment?

How about what you post through your blog or other social media content sites? Do you practice what you preach?  Or are you just writing what you believe your ideal customer may want to read?

If you are using quotes, do you give credit where credit is due?  Do you take the time to ensure your citation is accurate?

Do you honor your marketing commitments? Many small business owners will make a commitment to submit a posting, share information on their lists and then fail to honor that commitment.

Do you engage in reciprocity marketing?  When someone posts your blog link, retweet your Tweet, like your LinkedIn update, do you return the favor?

How about your 30 second commercial or value proposition statement?  Is is true?  Can you do what you say you do?

Then there are those online reviews. Do you check to make sure your customers are happy?  Have you taken positive action when a negative shows up?

Do you ask for permission to share letters of recommendation before you include them in your marketing?

All of these examples demonstrate business ethics or corporate ethics within daily or weekly marketing actions.

Today’s buyers are far more educated that in years gone by. They have the ability to search the Internet and get a feel or inclination whether an individual is at least somewhat ethical.

Yes business ethics or corporate ethics do matter in marketing. And their importance is critical because people buy from people they know and trust.

P.S. The Innermetrix Attribute Index is a great talent assessment to determine 78 key talents including job ethics and attitude toward honesty.

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The Stonehenge Myth of Value Creation

Value creation or selling value continues to be hot within the sales training coaching industry especially as a solution to increase sales. Yet what does the word value really mean?

Credit www.sxc.hu

According to Webster’s Seventh Collegiate Dictionary the word value is defined as “a fair return or equivalent in goods, services or money for something exchanged; 2:the monetary worth of something: marketable price; 3: relative worth, utility, or importance.”  In examining the origins of this word, it comes from the Latin word “valere” meaning to be worth, be strong.

The question then is who determines what is fair or the worth?

The seller or the buyer?

Even though many sales people would like to believe they determine what is fair or the worth (this is the myth), in actually that determination is 100% in the buyer’s brain. If this was not true, then everyone would be driving a Yugo, eating at McDonald’s and shopping at Walmart.  The market place would lack diversity of solutions (products and services).

The additional problem with this myth is that it restricts the seller to stay within the walls of his or her own self imposed Stonehenge. This internal self imposition limits additional sales opportunities and becomes a self limiting belief.

What top sales performers do is to make the connection between the buyer’s value perception and their solutions. These connections are made because truly good sales people actively listen and then even listen more. Sure they ask good open ended questions to even closed ended ones, but their secret is actively listening and this is how they increase sales.

Additionally, they have done their homework and may have some ideas about what their potential clients value. Yet these top sales performers recognize each buyer is unique and do not presume value is the same as the customer they sold yesterday.

So before you sign up for that next sales training coaching event be it a workshop, seminar, webinar or even in house training and development on value creation, selling value or value proposition statement as a solution to increase sales, maybe consider taking some professional development around active listening supported by NLP to emotional intelligence.

P.S. Need some quick, robust sales training coaching? Consider these webinars during the month of August 2012.

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Value Connecting Conversations Versus Value Creation

Some sales experts and business consultants have jumped on what appears to be this ever growing wagon train of value creation.  There is a strong belief salespeople can create value. Think value proposition statement. If you have been a reader of this blog for a while, you may know I am a contrarian when it comes to this belief, because I believe value is unique to each buyer.

A recent (July 2012) research report by e-tailing group and MyBuys suggests buyers place greater value in sharing data with retailers than within their social networks especially if it enhances the shopping experience.  This research appears to reinforce the “brand” of the retailer as customer enhancement is directly connected and builds customers’ expectations. Seth Godin defined “brand” the noun as meeting the expectations of the buyer.

So what is a salesperson to small business owner to do if value is unique to each buyer?

One answer is to have value connecting conversations.  What makes more sense is for the salesperson to listen for what the buyer values and then connect that “value perception” to his or her solutions. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  “If you are telling, you ain’t selling.” D.Herdlinger

Value connecting conversations require strong communication skills and especially active listening.  As I write in Be the Red Jacket, active listening is a self leadership skill and does require to have “a CLEAR grasp of what the other person is experiencing as well as thinking.”

The advantage to value connecting conversations is the focus is not on you or what you believe the value of your solution is, but rather on the buyer.  Your ego has taken a back seat to the ego (think wants and needs) of the buyer. What has happened is a pull versus push sales dynamic where the buyer pulls you to him or her instead of you having to push your value onto him or her.

Even though I write extensively about sales, business and leadership, I also  facilitate training and development and deliver keynotes.  Please feel free to give me a call at 219.759.5601 CDT.

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