Any prospective and most current customers will ask at some point, “What value will I get from the offering?” You must have an outstanding and honest answer or the sale and any future is most likely lost.
Listed below are three questions, in no particular order, that you and your sales team should be able answer immediately and without hesitation. These answers must not only be memorized, but they must be believed by your employees. If your team members do not believe in your product and messaging, the customers most likely won’t either.
The questions are:
- Why should your customer care enough to be interested in your product?
- Why should customers choose your product over another? What makes your product so special?
- Is your value proposition compelling (enough)?
Let us delve deeper into each of these questions.
Why should your customer care enough to be interested in your product?
Being in “love” with your product is a problem in product management. The product manager is the number one advocate for her product inside and outside of the company. If she is not careful to remain impartial, she will start to believe her own propoganda. Once this “love” starts, the objectivity required to do the job correctly begins to errode.
No one is going to care more about a product than the product manager. She poured a significant portion of her life into conceiving it, developing and launching it. It is normal for the product owner to feel a connection to it and to vigorously defend it at times. However, the market and customers specifically DO NOT CARE about the product. They need a job accomplished effectively and efficiently. You sales team and factory do not care either. Their job is to produce revenue as effectively and efficiently as possible. It is not to sell your product.
You must support your product by educating everyone about its strengths (and weaknesses to your internal customers), determine the best methods to market it, and use it to create great solutions for your customers. You must also remain OBJECTIVE about your product. There is always something better, cheaper, faster, etc. Your job is to generate profit today and tomorrow. If you fall in “love” with your product, it will always be perfect in your eyes and future innovation will suffer.
Why should customers choose your product over another? What makes your offering so special?
Again, this is another challenge to your ability to remain objective. • Why and how is your offering a better choice than other products or services? • What is special about it?
It might be that your product is average but when used as part of your firm’s total solution, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The system’s synergy has value that cannot be quantified but it can be qualified. This type of sale requires different marketing and sales tactics because a simple comparison of datasheets or specifications shows little differentiation among product choices.
Is your value proposition compelling enough?
Now that you have established some objectivity in your approach to your product and customers, it is time to create some preliminary concepts for your value proposition. The value proposition is important to the success of your product. This simple phrase or tagline must convey the value of your product to the prospective customer in an engaging manner while creating sufficient interest so the conversation can continue.
In preparation for that work, begin compiling data and anecdotal information about how your product can and does benefit customers. If your value proposition you develop later is compelling enough, then your product has the opportunity to do well.