Business Strategy and Delivering Your Value Proposition
As I mentioned in my previous article, “Are You Ignoring a Bad Business Strategy?,” your business strategy is a determining factor in whether your sales “will” or “will not” grow faster than your competition’s. Two key questions you need to ask annually as part of your strategic planning discussion are:
- Does your business strategy encompass a clear value proposition that would be considered an “unusual offering” and is critical in your target client’s buying decision?
- Are you delivering on the promises embedded in that offering?
The answers to those questions may be the primary reasons your sales force is not achieving their quotas.
“Unusual Offering” is not “Marketing and Positioning”
A key to the growth of your business is your ability to develop a business strategy that includes an unusual value proposition and become the best in the world at delivering on the promises in that value proposition. While every business owner recognizes the importance of “unusual offering” in helping a small business grow, many do not have one of their own. Many confuse “unusual offering” with marketing and positioning. A common mistake many owners make is to create their marketing before they really develop an “unusual offering.” Worse, some develop an “unusual offering” on paper that they cannot back up through operations. It should work in reverse. Once you develop and master your unusual offering, your target clients will easily choose you over your competition. Then you can create marketing campaigns that make it easy for people to notice you, and have salespeople that can convert the core clients as they walk into the sales process.
So How Do You Create An Unusual Offering?
In order to get your business strategy right, your unusual offering may not need to be a dramatic change from your current offering. You may already have an unusual offering that you have not isolated. You want a good bundle or aggregation of products and services that help solve clients’ needs in a special way that totally fits their situation. You may have the same mix of elements as your competition, but you can combine them differently or decide to add or subtract items from your offering in untraditional ways. You should also consider what your potential clients’ options are when configuring your bundle.
Elements That Add Value To An Unusual Offering
Depending on your core client and the options available to them, you need to consider how the following elements add value to your unusual offering:
- Price – What is their total cost today? Do they know what their total cost is? What would additional features, benefits, or services be worth to your prospect in terms of time, value to their clients, the growth of their business, reducing their stress, etc.? If you added new features, services, and benefits would they pay more for it, or would you just be increasing your cost of doing business?
- Cost/Risk Reduction – How can you modify your offering in a way that can substantially reduce client costs? How can the design of your product or service reduce risk for your client?
- Trends – What industry-wide trends are occurring technologically, economically, and environmentally that call for a new advancement in how your product or service is sold, delivered, distributed or marketed?
- Performance – What performance enhancement to your product or service is most valuable to your client? Would your client pay more for this enhancement? Would you lose clients to a competitor that made the enhancement while you did not? Is this enhancement necessary to keep up with minimum expectations? At what point does the performance improvement no longer make a difference in the client’s buying patterns?
- Customization – To what extent does customization to a product or service significantly enhance value?
- Design – To what extent does design make a difference in the usability of your product or service? Can design make your product more appealing or usable?
- Brand/Status – To what extent does brand or status influence the buyer?
- Accessible – Is there a way that you can make your offering more accessible to your target client?
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