I have presented this Value Proposition chain from the top down. Value Propositions depend upon Differentiation, which arise from feature being different. I did this mainly as most salespeople get stuck at thinking about product features and present their products from bottom up. Some salespeople never get beyond talking about features. This is actually very effective if you are an enthusiast selling to another enthusiast as the benefits / differentiation / and value can be implicit and mutually understood. Whether it is two computer gamers, or two home improvement enthusiasts, or two car customisers, talking in a shorthand language that only the initiated understand; this is a very efficient communication method and an effective way of selling. Most of us however, whether we are selling capital goods to corporate customers or financial products to a consumer, need to understand that it is our role to explain and communicate why the customer should buy. Our benefits statements should be simple, short, clear and jargon free.
So the chain of value from the bottom up is the product or service has a feature, which is different from the alternative or existing product or service. The difference can be expressed as “better, faster, and cheaper” than the alternative. From difference the salesperson can derive a benefit. So what is a benefit?
In the example so far we have looked at generic benefits (saving % cost) or you can call them value opportunities; or specific benefits ($XYZ,000 per annum) where the value opportunity has been applied to the customers specific data. There is however a set of benefits that are more related to human emotions or motivations, than cost benefits.
Most human beings need to feel comfortable with the decisions they make at an emotional level. The received truth is that 70% of the input to decisions is emotional and 30% related to “objective facts”. Think about this for a while, the implications are enormous. It implies that you can have a better product or solution and still consistently lose to a salesperson who understands the emotional domain better, who is a better communicator. Scary, right? So let me share the toolkit I use; remember this is only half the story as communication requires you to understand The Customer – the Human Being as well as how to analyse the product in terms of its emotional benefit, but you have to understand both.
Product Emotional benefits can be analysed into the SPACED benefits (another acronym):-
Look at the car market and the various brands and how they represent certain benefits.