Why is this important?
Simple: in order for a new business campaign to work sales people need a strong proposition to work with. So, what do we mean by ‘strong’, and what do we mean by ‘proposition’.
Imagine you are selling into a new sector. Or you are selling a new service (or start a new job) and you just don’t feel it. You know in your heart that what you’re saying isn’t impressing people.
The proposition simply isn’t good enough, so before you start speaking to anybody it’s crucial that you sit down and beef it up. Simply because a crap product will not sell, no matter how good your sales people.
So without further ado, what do we think makes a good proposition?
- Clarity – it needs to have clearly defined features and benefits. What positive experience will result for the client
- Communicability – if you can’t get the essence of it across quickly you’ve probably lost your chance. Sales call recipients are even more demanding, so it’s gotta be easy to communicate quickly…
- Believable – they’re only going to buy it if they believe it’ll work so you’ve got to be able to back it up, with statistics, case studies or other evidence.
- Relevance – we believe a proposition should be defined in relation to the people you will pitch it to – that means industry sector, job function, job level, type of business.
- Distinctiveness – it’s got to be unusual, different and better than your competition.
- Wow Factor – if it doesn’t excite your sales person it’s not going to excite the people they sell it to.
It needs to score as high as possible in all of these areas. If it falls down on one of them, you need to accept that it will mean poorer results. If you don’t want to undermine the proposition, then it’s a good idea to carry the messages you come up with through to your websites, case studies, social media and presentations too. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking your services are your proposition. Creativity and a holistic approach are a given (otherwise you’re in the wrong business).
Your proposition is the bit that sets you apart from all of the other calls that your potential clients receive. It’s crucial. Get it right and people will just say yes to meeting you and they’ll put you on that short-list because you offer something different. Get it wrong and you’ll very quickly find your sales team demotivated and your pipeline dry.