Is it okay to be different? As promised, I am going to present the first part of the series about proposal writing: creating a persuasive value statement. What is a value statement, anyway? It is an assertion that differentiates your company from others, that separates your services, your product from the rest.
Very often, a written proposal is the only means of communication you have with the highest levels of your client’s organization. Time is short, and money is tight; proposals not only have to be straightforward and succinct but, more importantly, relevant and specific.
The value statement is essential in that it tells clients how your solution will offer the greatest rate of return for their organization as well as focus on the benefits your services will provide to them. It should be consistently repeated and built upon throughout your proposals and be substantiated with precise examples, evidence and statistics.
Some points to keep in mind when crafting a value proposition:
Focus on a specific measure of value: be clear on what you can do; don’t promise everything to everybody.
Provide substance/proof that backs up statements such as ‘uniquely qualified’ or ‘industry leading’ – otherwise these phrases become empty, invalid and, quite potentially, disqualifying.
Concentrate on responding to your clients’ needs rather than attacking a competitor. Being aware of the competition’s capabilities is a benefit; exploiting their weaknesses could be perceived as a lack of professionalism.
Present a realistic and accurate description of your organization’s scope of work while simultaneously emphasizing how your outcome will offer the greatest amount of gain to your clients.
Avoid placing too much attention on presenting “the cheapest” option to clients – let your services speak for themselves and your cost-effective resolutions will not be overlooked but will stand out instead.
Choosing the right differentiators to include in your value statement (and that will be further clarified within your proposals) is paramount.
Put simply: determine what is important to your client and build your strategy around it. Only include the differentiators that will best meet your client’s goals and support them with evidence like past performance reports, case studies, customer testimonials, project summaries, and a company history.
Thank you for taking the time to review the relevance of building a persuasive value proposition with me. Next time we will examine essential components of winning proposals and some unnecessary elements to stay away from. We look forward to hearing your questions and comments, and best of luck!