Let’s make one thing clear immediately. It’s not your product’s job to attract your clients. The product is there to provide a great experience for the user, yeah, to guide the user to the aha moment, sure, to make the user stay and pay, absolutely.
But for the user to even come into your product, your message must first attract that user. And not just any user. But your best-fit customer, who will immediately understands your product’s value, pay for your product and hopefully rave about it online and tell about your product to their friends.
This is really where the importance of your value proposition comes in. Your value proposition works as a hook for your best-fit customers and ideally as a deterrent for any users who are not a good fit for your product. The value proposition is there to make customers want to know more about the solution you are offering.
And this is where most startups go wrong in my opinion.
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Casting a wide net
Because of the cash flow problems and the need for consistent growth, they widen the net and sell to just about anybody who is ready to buy.
But that creates confusion around the product.
- You get feedback from people who shouldn’t be your customers and develop your product in the wrong direction.
- You get confused about who your ideal customer is, so your marketing numbers suffer.
- Your story doesn’t add up anymore, which makes it difficult to attract customers and results in stagnant growth.
Teams in that case often rethink the product. But the product is only the second part of the problem.
You need to work on your message, your value proposition first and focus back to your best-fit customer.
Too technical, too complex
Most B2B startups that I see make that value proposition either way too technical and complex, or try using hype words that don’t really tell much. You know the ones. Empowering, passion-driven, skyrocket…
These are all good at inspiring, but do little to nothing to show what your product can do for your customers.
And the issue is that if customers don’t understand what they are getting from you, they won’t spend 10 minutes researching just to find out.
Clarity always beats creativity when it comes to hooking people to want to know more. And as we established, the only goal of the value proposition is to get users to want to know more.
Your value proposition is your promise to your customer
You can think of your value proposition as your promise to the customer. Without a clear promise, your startup is as good as dead.
Your customer has a need or a problem and your value proposition needs to show the customer how your company, your product, your solution can satisfy that need or solve that problem.
Companies often overthink this and try to write something unique, creative or overly complicated.
The reality is, the value proposition needs to be clear first, everything else second.
People simply don’t buy things they don’t understand and they certainly won’t take the time to try and understand what you wanted to say with your inspiring piece of writing. (And yes, when selling to companies, people reading your value props are still people.)
So instead of writing AI-powered user-friendly CRM, you can say easy-to-use CRM. That’s your promise to your customers right there. You are selling a CRM and it’s going to be easy for them to use it.
You can then further explain additional benefits and how it differs through Unique Selling Points later on the landing page, but when the user sees that first banner, you just need to tell them what you are going to do for them – make a promise to them.
What’s your value proposition? What do you promise with it?
A clear value prop structure + template
The main challenge I see companies face when crafting a compelling value proposition is that they think it needs to be unique, address a specific customer, tell them what the company is all about, differentiate the company, and inspire potential clients to take action and they try to pack it all into a single sentence.
The sentence becomes an overly complicated collection of words that don’t really fit together and make no sense.
The way I see it, all you need to do with the value proposition is to make a simple promise to the client that will make them want to learn more about your product.
You can address the differentiation and all of that later with unique selling points for your product.
So the structure should go something like this:
A value proposition that addresses the lead and makes a promise for a better tomorrow.
Followed by 1-3 Unique selling points that show how you are achieving this transformation in a different way.
Followed by proof that you can do it.
So for example the value proposition would be:
Easy to use CRM for small teams -> the value proposition is only there to filter the clients. Are you an enterprise? We are not interested. Small business? Read on.
The value prop is followed by unique selling points.
– Never search for contacts with our AI-powered assistant
– Never miss a follow-up with our smart automation reminders
– Save time & improve results using in-built templates
Followed by logos of companies that trust our software.
1) you are clear on what you do and
2) Tell a story about your product, showing your differentiation in the process – a unique set of features that resonate and bring value to your customers.
You can use this on a website, turn it into a pitch or even just in generic conversations at a networking event when somebody asks you what you do.
If you are struggling to come up with a sentence that resonates with clients and tells what you do, I am sharing my interactive template to writing a killer value proposition that will help you attract more clients.