The Values Proposition

If you would like us to help you develop your “values proposition,” contact us.

The term “value proposition” has been in vogue in business-to-business sales for twenty years or more. In short, it means that a product for sale must, in essence, create more money (in increased revenue or reduced costs) than it costs to purchase. “If you buy my widget for $x, you’ll get $5x back over the next 10 years,” or something like that.

The value proposition is a very logical concept. That is its beauty and its limitation.

While many companies are aware of their value proposition to customers, few if any know their “values proposition”: the collection of things about the company and its products & services that customers value (along with the things they don’t value or which customers see as negative).

The values proposition is the underpinning of the customer reference. When companies are asked “why would you/wouldn’t you recommend a company or product?” they respond with answers informed by deep, emotional reasons like “they save me time,” “they make me smarter,” “they are available whenever I need help.” If you have happy customers, you have a values proposition too. Do you know what it is?

Finding and developing a values proposition means interviewing customers or combing through your interactions with them, and allowing the values they espouse to emerge. It doesn’t mean gathering a management meeting and deciding what your values are, then searching for confirmation in your customer dialogues. We’ve helped other companies discover and use their values proposition. Perhaps we can help you, too.

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