Get to know your customer before you write a word.
— from the book Copy Hackers
Joanne Wiebe’s series Copy Hackers is a series so full of gems it should be kept in a safe.
But for me, Page 1 of Book 1 is the pinnacle.
It reminds me every single time I’m sitting down writing for sales purposes what I need to write about, and what I don’t need to write about.
It’s on Page 1 she made the point, upfront, that no matter what business you’re in you are not selling a product, you’re not selling a service, you’re not selling a solution.
You’re not selling your expertise, you’re not selling advice, you’re not selling financial products.
The only thing you’re selling your clients-in-waiting – no matter what business you’re in – is a better version of themselves.
If you put one word over this, it’s transformation.
You can run any purchase that you’ve made or plan on making through this filter, car, gym membership, new home, holiday, clothes. and you realise it’s true,
In today’s blog post, I wanted to share a five minute summary of the full training module within the Leveraged program curriculum about the most elusive of topics; your value proposition.
I say elusive because, despite it being so well known, you’d be hard-pressed to get a group of people in a room to agree with what form one should actually take.
Maybe where I differ (?) is that I don’t start by looking at what form it should take. Instead, I’m interested in its function and what it’s supposed to do.
A value proposition for me is about two things:
- Getting prospects to pay attention to what you’re offering, and
- Getting traction with a certain sub-set of those prospects, which means they take action.
Beyond that, there are a few key “rules” I follow which steer me on the right path to creating something that achieves those two aims, and in particular, does so in the context of what works for advice.
The video explains more, but here’s the cheatsheet.
You cannot craft a sharp value proposition by trying to talk to everybody, any more than a politician wins an election by aiming to win every vote.
The starting point is always understanding very clearly who you’re trying to have a conversation with (another fact Copy Hackers goes to great lengths to reiterate).
So many people have been led down the garden path of believing nicheing (or focusing on a specific clientele) is about business-building.
It’s not. It’s about marketing. No doubt you could help everyone, but trying to market to the whole world is amongst many things, expensive.
The other mistake is thinking it’s just about demographics (market), when in fact there are three different ways to do this.
The real sweet spot is when you can hit all three. The video explains more.
Forget elevator statements. They might work if you’re pitching a movie (Snakes on a Plane?), but it sucks when you’re trying to explain your proposition to potential clients.
“So, what do you do?”
“I’m the guy/ girl who helps people retire sooner, wealthier and happier”
“Ok. So what types of clients do you work with?”
“Well, I’m the guy/ girl who helps people retire sooner, wealthier and happier”
“Uh. Ok-ay. How does it all work?”
“Um….”I’m the guy who helps people retire sooner, wealthier and happier?”
What does work is creating the equivalent of a concept library that means you can answer questions about:
- Why clients should work with?
- What your business is all about?
- How does it work in practice?
In truth, there are actually six components to that last part and the way you deliver it matters almost as much as the quality of the message.
Get this right, and you’ve got the basis for closing your first appointment really strongly and the basis for every piece of marketing you do from there on it.
Get it wrong and, well, “What do you do again?”