Why Don’t Value Propositions Work?



The way that Value Propositions are typically created often do not work. Why is that, you ask? Because most of them don’t convey anything memorable or valuable when you use them, and most are not about what the OTHER person actually cares about.

I have been concerned about this for years and as a firm, we have focused on improving this for the advisors we work with. The problem has been defined by a study done by Pershing and multiple articles written on the topic.

The Pershing study found that, “the strongest value propositions combine four distinct elements: attributes of the firm, benefits to the client, a rational argument, and an emotional component.” I would suggest that there is one more key to being really engaging. It is sharing that you have worked with someone like them and thus, understand their situation. This is a powerful credibility builder.

When creating what we call a Simple, Repeatable, Statement of Value (SRSV), it may seem obvious, but the key is to think about the other person. The other person needs to see him or herself in your statement and find it to be of interest to them.

Most descriptions include the things that everyone does followed by the fact that you do it for everyone. A better way may be to have a pocketful of SRSV statements that you can draw upon to engage just the person you’re talking with. Focus on the ‘who’ you work with (it helps of course if you have an idea of who they are – ask them first) and on the benefits of the work you do.

Actual Verbal SRSV statement: I’m a financial advisor and we work with individuals getting ready to retire. In fact, we’ve helped more than 50 people retire successfully from your company, Abbott Labs.

When you make it about the other person, the results are markedly better! Make it about THEM!

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