Your value proposition is oftentimes the first thing a vistor sees upon landing on your website. Woo! High-fives all around!
Here’s the thing; a crappy one (or lack thereof) is also the first reason for them leaving.
Think of it much like a pick-up line. It doesn’t matter how much cologne you’re wearing, or how cool you think that popped collar looks (stop it, you’re better than that), if there’s no substance or value in the words you’re speaking, don’t expect much of a response. People see through the fluff.
Approach your websites value proposition in the same manner; what can you say right now to help establish or further the relationship?
Eliminate vanity and fluff. How can you help them…right now?
I’ve found that of all the great value propositions I’ve come across, there’s usually five recurring characteristics.
5 Characteristics of Value Propositions that Don’t Suck
This may go without saying, which is exactly why I have to say it here. You can’t hide behind a mediocre product or service with a calculated value proposition.
If you’re offering a great product or service, then that should be the catalyst for any value you’re trying to convey. And frankly, the better and more unique your product, the easier it will be to craft a solid value prop. If you’re having a hard time developing one, perhaps you should first reevaluate your offering and come back to the value of it later on.
In order for your value proposition to hold merit and be effective, the product needs to speak for itself.
This means it has to:
- Be unique
- Solve a problem
- Speak directly to those with said problem
- Differentiate itself from competition
Take Salesforce for example. The value is attaining and easy sales, service marketing app, no software or hardware required. The product speaks for itself.
Don’t try to add value later on with fancy words in big type on your homepage. Instead, the value should already be built into your product or service, ensuring the value proposition all but writes itself.
2. It’s True
While this is painfully obvious, it’s also painfully embarrassing when you can almost smell the deceit in a value proposition.
It’s hard building trust. It’s impossible to gain it back when it comes to consumers.
Once you’ve developed that unique, value-adding product or service, your value prop should hit on the pain points and needs that it addresses. No hyperbole added.
While it may seem good practice to embellish – I mean, what could it hurt? – you should assume that your customers will hold you to every syllable of the value you promised.
What problem are you solving? How?
If you could answer that with conviction, you should have no problem following up on the value promised.
3. It Conveys Value (Rather than Function)
Here’s how the buyer’s mind works; first we want to know the problem your product solves. Only after that do we care how it works.
Don’t focus on the function, focus on the value you’re adding and the problem you’re solving. The function is secondary, and becomes important only after someone has bought into your value proposition.
As you can see with HubSpot, they’re clearly focusing on the value first. Creating marketing people love.
So instead of focusing on how your electric crockpot works, hit on the value instead. Ensuring a home cooked meal for your family on the go. Camping. Soccer games.
You’re solving the problem of trying to prepare dinner on the go. Once you have a believer, than you can get into the functionality.
4. It’s Brief
It’s no secret that mobile technology has drastically shorted our collective attention spans. Consider this with your value proposition as well as its placement on your homepage.
It’s common belief that you only have three seconds to grab a visitors attention.
So be brief. Your value proposition shouldn’t read like a Dicken’s novel. You’ll lose the attention of your visitor faster than a 6-year old at JCPenney.
This is where it becomes more of an art form. How can you convey value quickly? Only you could answer this question, however a good practice is including actionable words to quickly convey the value.
Ditch the adjectives. Go with verbs. Quick and to the point.
5. It’s Consistent
Once you feel like you have a dynamite value proposition, keep it consistent across all channels.
Your website, blog, social media profiles and marketing collateral should all be consistent with the value proposition on your homepage. Anything less will only confuse your prospects, and needless to say, confusion very rarely leads to a purchase.