In this series, I take you through eight key steps to plan your B2B sales meetings in a way that sets you apart from the competition.
By building continuous momentum, providing value, and advancing sales at each step, you will ultimately get more (and faster) closed business.
Preparation is the secret to closing sales – and it needs to happen for every encounter with a prospect. Before each meeting, answer three key questions:
Why should this client meet with me?
What do I want my client to do?
How can I provide value in this encounter?
Step 2: Clarify your value proposition
“Don’t tell me what you do, tell me what you do for me” – Sean Sheppard
Why should a prospect spend even one minute talking with you? What is it about your offer that can benefit your potential client? What tangible values does it create for them?
The answers to these questions form the heart of your value proposition.
Your value proposition is a clear statement of the measurable results a client gets from using your product/ service. In other words, it’s what you do for your customer. The best value propositions are specific, often with numbers or percentages.
Most people tend to describe what they do instead of the value they bring – which is a big mistake. You must learn to articulate the real value you deliver.
Without a clear value proposition, you’ll find it tough to command the price you want for your solution – because prospective clients will have no tangible value to compare against your price. That means your product/ service will end up simply looking like an extra cost.
The lack of a value proposition also means you’ll get lost in a sea of vendors. Your prospect will assume that your solution is just like all the others in this space – how can they know any better?
To put it another way, your value proposition is mission-critical information that you must have in order to close a sale.
A basic value proposition has three key components:
1. Metrics: Metrics answer the question, “How do you measure whether you’re doing well in this area?” All businesses have metrics – sometimes formalized, sometimes not. Find the metrics your potential clients use to measure performance by answering a few questions:
What tells you that you’re doing well?
What tells you if something is going wrong?
What suggests you could be doing better?
2. Direction: Direction answers the question, “What’s happening to the value of this metric?”. Should it be going up or down? The answer depends on the context. E.g., you want sales revenue to go up and material costs to go down.
3. Magnitude: Magnitude answers the question, “By how much is the metric going up or down?” What is the actual value of the change? Did it go up or down by a percentage? Was it reduced by a fixed amount?
With these three components, you can put together a basic value proposition.
Here’s a formula to increase clarity and make an impact: [Direction] + [Metric] + [Magnitude]
For example: We increase lead conversion by an average of 47 percent.
Developing a Unique Value Proposition for your product/ service is a comprehensive process that is beyond the scope of this article. For a better understanding, check out my article on design UVP that make sales easier.