What's Your Value Proposition? Really.


The words that make my heart sing are only sometimes the same words that make my potential clients' hearts sing. And I've learned that I can be quite wrong about what I think is the value I bring to each relationship. For instance, nagging can be a competitive advantage... but I certainly never planned to be a nagger.

Part of starting and growing any business is defining our 'value proposition'. Talk about trying to hit a moving target! The longer you're in business and developing your expertise, the more different types of value you'll have to draw on... and offer to others. A big inventory of value propositions!

What little pieces of feedback (formal or subtle) do you receive every day that can help to shape a new value proposition based on people's needs... instead of what you think? What problems do your customers and prospects wish you could solve for them? I'm going to start an inventory... will you join me in this experiment?

My first thought was to use a spreadsheet - I can hear snickers from the peanut gallery. Instead, I'm following Meryl Cook's advice and starting a journal. The question I'll ask myself at the end of each day will be: "I delivered value today - what kind of value and how did it feel?" Maybe your question will be different but connecting to feelings is an important part (something else I know thanks to Meryl).

Sidenote: The term 'value proposition' reminds me of my old corporate days and far removed from small business. A few years ago, a prospect emailed to ask what my value proposition was. My first thought was, do I want to work with someone who asks in that way? (He did become a client but only for a short time.) As much as I dislike the term, it's absolutely appropriate here so please don't hold it against me on my blog ;)

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