What’s Your Company Value Proposition?

by | Sep 21, 2010

Sometimes we get caught up in selling product and making quotas and we lose site of what we’re really selling. If we’re just selling widgets, we’d better have one no one else has. If not, why should someone buy from you?

Today we have a guest post from Alan Sipe, President and General Manager of Knipex LP in Chicago. Alan is a dear friend, an old client and knows a few things about selling high-priced hand tools. Alan will share some thoughts with you regarding Value Propositions.

A lot is written about the topic of presenting your company’s Value Proposition and surely you have passed this along to all the semi-professional golfers and lunch buyers in your sales department…haven’t you?

So how do you know if your sales team has read the articles, thought about and formulated a basic company Value Proposition statement to use in their daily sales calls?

Simple…grab the first sales team member that walks by your office door and ask this question:

  • “If a customer were to say to you that generally our prices are a little higher overall than our competitors,” how would you reply to that statement specifically?
    • Be quiet now and don’t help them with an answer.
    • Do not let the salesperson ask you a whole bunch of qualifying questions!
    • Have them answer that specific question.

 Hopefully your salesperson will have a quick and precise answer like:

  • We maintain heavy stocks on the inventory you need and buy from us.
  • We deliver on time and packed correctly.
  • Our invoices are correct the first time to save your accounting office time and money.
  • We either have or have quick access to the product technical answers you need.
  • I bring you new ideas and products to help you do your job better.
  • We have the best repair shop in town.
  • You can count on us to be here when you need us, we have been in business for XX years.
  • And maybe even…We stuck by you with a good credit line when the business was tough.

If you get an answer like any of these, you have work to do:

  • Let me go back and review your pricing.
  • We give you the best prices we can.
  • Our suppliers are raising their prices to us.
  • Let me think about that and get back to you.
  • What competitor is cutting their price?
  • If I give you a 5% discount overall, would that help? (If you get this answer, you really have problems and give your team way too much pricing authority, but this is an article for another day)

Put on your sales manager’s hat, write down a list of your company’s Value Propositions and make sure your sales team can rattle them off quickly and with conviction.  Don’t be a sissy…make it happen!

What are your thoughts on Value Propositions? Does your company have one? Do you know what it is?

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