As you formulate and refine your value proposition, the best thing you can do for it is to simplify. There are few practical steps will help you get to the “pearl of great price” of your offering, and really let it shine. By this, I mean highlighting and not hiding the true main point (the net-net “goodness”) that proves most compelling to prospects.
Simplify by reducing the number of features or benefits in your story. Obviously, don’t reduce the actual features that make up your offering, but do reduce the number of features you communicate. Even this may seem counter-intuitive, in that it is easy to feel that “more is more.” However, given the crowded marketplace and ever increasing levels of market noise, it is a strategic imperative to deliver a simply understood story to your market.
I find that the more complex the product, the less effective it is to deliver the proverbial “fire hose” of information to an already overwhelmed audience. The point of reducing the number of features communicated is twofold: to force you to evaluate which features really matter to prospects, and to enable you to deliver those points more clearly.
Simplify by reducing the number of words you use to communicate a feature. Use simpler language such as “this means…” and “this doesn’t mean…” to frame key points. There is a time and place to introduce the twenty-page PDF with detailed schematics and charts… it just isn’t at the front end of the communication and sales process.
Simplify by reducing the use of jargon and dense wording. I don’t mean language that’s simplistic or condescending— I do mean language understood by a non-technical executive who understands business terms and concepts.
Finally, simplify by reducing the number and depth of slides in your PowerPoint presentation. The old adage of “tell them what you’re going to tell them; tell them; then tell them what you told them” is a simple and still effective way to approach any presentation. The middle part is where many business product and services companies fall into their own snare of complexity.
PowerPoint is a wonderful tool to capture and share new ideas—and is also a collector of “dust balls” of too many ideas and details. We’ve all sat through (or given) one-hour PowerPoint talks that left everyone, including the speaker, more confused than when the talk began. You can clarify and simplify any presentation (or document) by taking this simplification test:
- Can I capture my essential offering in one slide? You can state your Value Proposition (using the Offering Concept Statement) and add a few short clarifying bullets—but that’s it!
- Can I describe what my product does in one slide of less than 50 words (adding up all the bullets)?
- Can I describe, on one slide, what our product/service brings to the market that is new, useful and exciting (your offering’s I3 dimensions)?
- Can I describe, on one slide, what in our company’s history points to our distinct ability to deliver this specific value proposition (credibility from your corporate foundation)?
- Can I describe, on one slide, a way of looking at our offering financially that is compelling—emphasizing a key financial benefit or dynamic unique to your offering (Cost Effectiveness from your Corporate Foundation)?
- Can I describe, on one slide, what in our present people, processes and resources points to our distinct ability to deliver this specific value proposition (Capability from your Corporate Foundation)?
Be direct. Be clear. In short—keep it short. Your prospects will appreciate it and understand your story better as a result.