Copyright Perficency 2013. All Rights Reserved.®GET OVER YOURSELFBy: Tom BatchelderMay 2012Few people are comfortable selling themselves.Here’s how you can make it easier and sound less arrogant.A value proposition is a promise to provide services that a client will find of great worth. The value youbring to your clients is unique to you. Clients can’t get you anywhere else.I work with producers every day to help them shape and define their value proposition. And they needhelp. Everyone I’ve ever worked with gets stuck when I ask about the unique value they bring to theirclients. They can talk about the exclusive products they carry and the company’s commitment to long-lasting partnerships. But when it comes to sharing more about themselves, they clam up. I think it’s hardto toot your own horn without feeling arrogant. My Midwestern values taught me to be humble, saythank you and always clean my plate. So I understand how difficult it can be to talk about yourself.If you allow yourself the indulgence to think about this, I think you might be shocked at how uniquelyvaluable you really are. Try talking about value propositions with a group and see if you notice anydiscomfort or struggle with the conversation.Here are some tips you can follow to present a more compelling case when you talk about your uniquevalue.Opening LinesChoose a few key words to get the conversation started. Don’t obsess over memorizing your 30-secondelevator pitch. Have a few bullet points that you can talk about in a quick 10-second snippet and in alonger conversation when relevant.Your key words should explain your particular approach to what you do. One client likes to start with thephrase, “I like to see myself as the organizer of chaos.” One producer says she tries to inject some funinto her business life amid all the mind-numbing details. She puts her own spin on her value, and it’suniquely hers. A practice manager I spoke with often starts new business conversations with: “Frankly,we give a (bleep), when others really don’t.” Once he has his prospect’s attention, he then elaborates.Another consultant starts by saying, “We bring new life to what’s gotten stale.” And another: “We helpcompanies remain relevant.”These are not comprehensive, company-line value propositions. They are key words that start to get atthe heart of your unique perspective in a more human, less pre-packaged fashion. Think about whatyour conversation starter might be. And be sure to have some fun with it.
Copyright Perficency 2013. All Rights Reserved.The TakeawayAsk yourself: “What do my clients get when they choose me?”Aside from your unique perspective on the industry and on your clients’ business, you also bringparticular values, styles and strengths. Maybe your strength lies in your willingness to deliver the hardtruth even when it’s not what clients want to hear. Your best clients appreciate this, so talk about thisapproach with new prospects. Maybe you were a college athlete and that experience fuels an obsessivelevel of discipline, focus and drive in everything you do.Not everyone is so driven. You can talk about your drive without seeming boastful. It’s who you are.Maybe you have a big heart. Maybe you’re a good listener. Maybe you love to solve hard problems.These traits drive your unique approach to serving your clients.Consider what your traits might be and don’t discount them. They will be more compelling to prospectsthan you think.The convergence of what you most love to do, what you are best at and what your prospect most needsand values is the sweet spot where business growth comes most effortlessly.Don’t Be Afraid to AskIf this topic freaks you out, ask a client for help. Pick one of your best clients and ask them why theyhired you and what the firm most likes about working with you. This will be uncomfortable. Do itanyway.Those who know you best often can articulate what you are unable or unwilling to acknowledge orcomfortably explain. Then you can use their words when talking to new prospects, such as, “My bestclients tell me what they most appreciate about doing business with me is…”Plan on struggling with this a bit. Everyone does.It’s worth spending more time on articulating your unique value. Consider that your prospects givesomething up when they decide not to do business with you. Instead of focusing on beating thecompetition, focus on making the competition irrelevant.