Most successful companies and organizations have a value proposition. It is more than a Mission Statement and it certainly is more meaningful than your goals and objectives. According to Jill Konrath in her book Selling to Big Companies, “a value proposition is a clear statement of the tangible results a customer gets from using your products or services. The more specific your value proposition is, the better.”
Though a value proposition is quite useful for selling, there is no reason why you, the job seeker can’t use the same philosophy in selling your talents to a prospective new employer. Most consultants and external labor use such a statement to distinguish themselves from the competition and you should do the same in your employment search.
A value proposition needs to be as specific as possible and that is why, according to Konrath “most people and companies have lousy value propositions.” The following are a few weak examples:
+ It’s the most technologically advanced and robust system on the market.
+ We improve communication and morale.
+ We offer training classes in a wide variety of areas.
+ My product was rated the best-in-class by leading authorities.
With those non-tangible statements you should have turned off the decision-maker by now, if you got his/her attention at all. What is unique about any of those statements? If you are going to impress you need to stand out above the crowd of competitors.
Here are some strong value propositions that deliver tangible results according to Jill Konrath:
+ Increased Revenues (% or estimated number)
+ Faster time to Market (number of days will do)
+ Decreased costs ( $ or %)
+ Improved Operational Efficiency ($ or number of people)
+ Increased Market Share (% within the industry)
+ Decreased employee turnover ( % better than last year)
+ Improved customer retention levels (increased % of returning customers)
Documented success stories make you more believable, more marketable and ultimately a new hire for your next company or association. Though most valid resumes address what we have done in that past, with many of the anecdotes producing very tangible results, it is imperative that we also take those success stories in marketing yourself to your new employer.
Neil Rackham, in his 1999 book, Rethinking the Sales Force; Redefining Selling to Create and Capture Customer Value believes that a value proposition statement should consist of four main components:
Remember a good value proposition statement positions value, where Value = Benefits – Cost (cost includes risk), according to the 2009 Cindy Barnes book titled: Creating and Delivering Your Value Proposition: Managing Customer Experience for Profit.
Risk taking is an important component of value propositions and also the hiring process. The employer is risking his/her reputation and his bottom-line in bringing you on as the new hire and of course you are risking your reputation and your career on determining whether this is the home you want for the future. With so much possible failure in the offing, it is vital for both parties to define and make tangible the expectations of both parties.
A strong value proposition speaks directly to your prospective employer and it tells them exactly why they should hire you over your competitors. A value proposition is a clear statement of tangible results a prospective employer can achieve by hiring you. It focuses on outcomes and distills all the complexity of the value you can provide if brought on-board.
Your unique and personal value proposition can create interest and prompt your interviewers to pose pertinent questions so that they can learn more about your approach in managing their company or association. Your incomparable value proposition will differentiate you from your competitors and their talents and experiences.
The following are examples of Strong Value Propositions according to Kinessis Marketing:
Business Consultant: Our clients grow their business typically by a minimum of 30-50% over the year while cutting costs by 35%.
Hubspot: B2B companies recognized a 61% lower cost per lead and increased their organic traffic and lead conversions by an average magnitude of six-fold in 6 months.
Sales Trainer: I help salespeople crack into corporate accounts, speed up their sales cycle and win big contracts. One of my clients won a verbal commitment for $5M in business in just 90 days.
Internet Marketing Company: Our products help people leverage the internet to triple their market reach and cut marketing costs in half when launching neew products.
The typical association executive can package himself in a unique and extraordinary employment position by incorporating a value proposition that will include such items that reflect on your positive experiences as: member retention and growth, non-dues revenue, bottom-line success, reserves growth, membership programming, member satisfaction results, issues management, and communication capabilities.
The key to a successful employment search is providing a truthful and unique vision of an individual who can improve the organization’s future. Make sure you are that individual by using all the tools available at your disposal. Create a personal value proposition that no one can turn down, with the result being an exciting new placement for you with an association that will benefit from the talents you bring into play.