Tag Archives: Wikipedia

Value Va-Voom!

According to Wikipedia, "A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered and a belief from the customer that value will be experienced."

So what's your value proposition? That's one of the questions we ask when new members join the group.   Most people in business know that they need a value proposition only they're not sure what it is or how to define it.   In fact, some of the responses of a handful of recent members were:

  • I'm still working on it
  • Sharing my knowledge and experience
  • ?
  • I provide expertise and resources
  • Bringing new ideas
  • open
  • I'll tell you later..
valueproposition

Was anyone sold on those value propositions?   Or how about that last one?  Can you imagine telling a customer that?

Customer:  Tell me, what's so valuable about your product or service?
You:             I'll tell you later...

Just imagine the look on their face when you tell them that!

confusedbaby

So, no offense to the people that wrote those responses for their answers.  The point is that most people don't think about their value proposition and that's a huge mistake.  In fact, a good value proposition can be the difference between a prospect and a sale.

Your value proposition needs to "speak" to your clients and draw them into you and your business.   It needs to say to them, "I'm the business you want to work with and here's why..."

Let's face it, sharing knowledge, experiences, resources, new ideas... these are all fairly common things which any good business will do.  What makes YOU stand out above the crowd though?  What makes YOU the business to work with?

Here are some tips when putting together your value proposition:
1) Specialize...

Instead of serving 1 billion customers like McDonalds, carve out a niche to work with.
Think about a doctor. A generalist may need to know a lot of information about pretty much everything!   A specialist only has to know as much as they can about one subject.   Which one usually makes more money?   The guy who has to know everything or the guy who knows one thing really well?

If you are going through a divorce, do you want to hire an attorney who specializes in divorce and that's all they do or the attorney who is a general practitioner that does family law, divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure, wills, real estate closings, and more?   What makes you special and who are your target customers?

2) Be interesting!

I once met an accountant who introduced himself as, "Hi. My name is Joe and I'm a CPA. Call me if you want your taxes done."  That's it. Are you interested?  Would you call him?  First of all, how many CPA's are out there in the world? (According to Wikipedia, there are about 360,000 of them).  Second, why would I call you instead of the other 359,999 CPA's out there?

Hey, don't get me wrong, Joe was a nice guy. He just wasn't very interesting.   Of course, maybe you don't want your CPA to be interesting.   What if instead he said something like, "Hi. My name is Joe and being a CPA is fun!!! Why? Because I specialize in helping people save money from the IRS so that they can use it to have fun themselves! And helping people have fun is fun! Call me today and start having some fun!"   O.k. I threw that together and you get my point.   Boring and straight forward or fun and exciting.   You decide.

3) Fill a void.

Know your customer and what they're looking for. Find out what they want and need and give it to them.   Here's a question for you, would you ever pay $10,000 for a bottle of water?   Of course not silly...

Unless you were stranded in the middle of the desert without water for 2 days and I had the only bottle of water.   Then that $10,000 would be well worth it for you.   If you can show the value of your product or service so that people want and need your product or service to fill some kind of void in their life, then you've got a life long customer.

4) Create a new marketplace.

Steve Jobs is notorious for saying, "people don't know what they want until you show it to them."   That's why he dispised customer focus groups. He just wanted to "make great products."  And that's exactly what he did.

In fact, he created an entire culture of products.   The iPod was not the first music player out there.  The iPhone was not the first smartphone.  The iPad was not the first tablet.   The genius of Apple was that they created a marketplace of users who loved their products and sold tons of apps, add-ons, and downloads making Apple one of the most successful companies in history.

Does your product or service do this?

There's a lot more that goes into a good value add proposition and hopefully this will give you a good start.   Take some time and think it through and decide how you can really provide value to people.  That's what's going to sell your product or service.

Celebrate Life!
Chaffee-Thanh Nguyen

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am an Expert…. on a whole lot of things.

Merriam Webster dictionary defines  Expert as:  having or showing special skill or knowledge because of what you have been taught or what you have experienced.

Wikipedia says….."An expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability in a particular area of study. Experts are called in for advice on their respective subject, but they do not always agree on the particulars of a field of study. An expert can be, by virtue of training, education, profession, publication or experience, believed to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon the individual's opinion...."

Before I start my story….. Let me say without a shadow of a doubt I am NOT an Expert,  I know a lot, but I am far from an Expert…. In this subject anyway.

I always equated the term Expert with knowledge and experience.  I mean, just knowing the material in my opinion does not make you an expert, it just makes you knowledgeable.   Why am I bringing this up you ask?  I recently was sitting in my office minding my own business when my text tone went off,  it was a partner of mine who currently was attending a webinar.  She was getting ready to leave for a conference and it was a webinar on how to get the most out of the conference.   Apparently they were going to be using Social Media tools in order to enhance the conference and she was excited to find out how to utilize them to get more bang for her buck at this conference.

At first she was very disappointed that this seemed to be a 101 type of Social Media instruction, at that point they lost her.  She did what I have done in a similar circumstance, I started looking up the people who were giving the webinar.  She starts blowing up my phone with rapid fire texts…..  Look up this person…. They only have 517 followers on twitter,   Look up this person…. They have 1037 twitter followers…… then comes the all important question….. How can they be experts when I have more twitter followers ( she has 13K+ and I have 35 K+ ) and they have already given 2 wrong instructions?  She then started digging further, they are proclaiming themselves as Social Media Experts, have a company that will do it for you, will help you establish you on the web, raise your Google ratings etc.  I could picture her in her office… shaking her head.

In this very digital age Social Media Experts are a dime a dozen, typically anyone who proclaims they are an expert are probably the furthest thing from it.    Just because I read a book on how to do something or take a class doesn’t make me an expert.  However you have those that don’t know any better who will believe someone because they don’t know any better.

I do a lot of my own research, I have gone to many a webinar and seminar on Social Media applications and practices.  I learned so much that I was able to generate 30% of the attendance at a groups National Conference just using applications and techniques I had  learned. Does that make me an Expert or just really good?

It distresses me when I see people proclaim themselves as “Experts” but haven’t a real clue what they are talking about, yet because they are good sales people, and have the ability to take information in and regurgitate it as if it was their original thoughts….. they are deemed experts.

I have a deep appreciation for Experts, I hire them, some of them are my best friends, without them I would be lost.

So what do you think?  What is the definition of an Expert?  If I study everything there is about music and playing a piano, but I am tone deaf does that still make me an Expert?  If I learn everything there is to know about Pole Vaulting, so that I know it inside and out and upside down, yet can’t actually vault, does that make me an expert Pole Vaulter?

Personally, I think it is not enough to know the material, you must be able to put it into practice and successful at it.  Just simply knowing the info is not enough, You must be able to not only Talk the Talk, you have to Walk the Walk, because the way the definition stands....  I am an Expert on a Whole Lot of Things.....  ask anyone I know, they will tell you.