Selling what you do

“We create dashboards for managers”

“We’re solving traffic congestion for parents”

“We teach people how to sell authentically”

“I coach women through relationships”

The pitch. The elevator line. The value proposition. The ‘this is what we do’. The summary. Whatever you want to call it, these are just a few lines amongst hundreds I’ve heard over the years.

And they’re all missing a crucial element (or more).

The benefit. Actual, tangible, results. 

What’s the outcome?

It’s great that you do any one of those things but to what end? How is that benefitting the end user/economic buyer? That’s the end of the sentence you’re looking for.

We create dashboards for managers... so that they can assess cost savings and determine revenue opportunities for their clients.

It’s nearly always missing – and it’s crucial. Whether you’re putting words up on your website, presenting pitch decks to investors, trying to explain what you do so people buy from you or talking about your business internally – what’s the benefit? What do we actually get out of this? Why do we need it?

I recently listened to an absolutely eloquently presented pitch – and by the end of it I understood exactly who it was for, the problem, the partner channels, how they were going to market and sell it – but I had no idea what it actually was. None. The entire time my head was screaming to ask but what are you actually creating? How are you actually solving this problem? As technologists they’d built their product and completely forgotten to actually explain what they were making. To them of course, it was obvious.

It’s a trap we all fall into because we’re really in what we’re doing. It often takes an outsider or stepping back from your business and looking at it from a public point of view to determine if you’re bringing a clear – and sellable – offering to the table.

YOUR TURN

Think about what you do and assess if you’re able to state what your service or product is, who your customer segment is, what problem you’re solving and what benefit it’s providing.

Here’s a little script to get you started…

Our/my (product/service) _______________, helps (customer segment) _______________, that/who (problem/need) _______________, by (benefit)_______________.

or

We help (customer segment)  _______________  do (benefit)  _______________ by (product/service/solution) _______________.

 

For example ::

Our custom dashboards help managers at retail firms to stop wasting time in excel, and generate more income and clients, by analyzing for them how they can provide revenue opportunities to their clients. 

Start reading it aloud to people and remove any vagueness. 

A reasonable public person should be able to understand what you do and why, by hearing your value proposition. And they should be able to summarize it back to you (if you’re struggling, expand on what you do and ask them what you think you do – they’ll often give you language you can utilize).

What we’re creating here is actually a value proposition (and that’s something that we’ll continue to dig into) but for now remember problem, customer, solution, benefit.

Once you recognize these elements, you’ll start seeing them everywhere.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 10.51.17 AM

Join The Weekly Delivery

Join thousands to receive an exclusive weekly email with my thoughts on business, creativity, systems, product development, tech, & commerce