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Guest Article

Refresh Your Value Proposition


Kim L. Clark

We continue the 5 Step Program of examining the value proposition that a business would offer to its customers and in this article we learn to recognize and evaluate elements that might benefit from being refreshed.

In Step One, VIP customers are first identified and then consulted in face-to-face meetings, where they are invited to express their thoughts on emerging priorities in their respective industries and organizations and encouraged to speculate about products and services that they expect will be in demand in the short and long-term.

In Step Two, those opinions and recommendations are reality-tested in a survey that is made available to all customers. Information that will help position the business for sustainable success will be revealed.

Step Three brings the opportunity to motivate customers to sell for you by demonstrating your gratitude for their business and their willingness to share information that assists your decision-making. The most effective way to persuade customers to sell for you is to sell for them. Make good referrals and you will win your customer's devotion. In return, they will be inclined to both continue doing business with you and also make good referrals for you. Word of mouth remains the most powerful form of advertising.

Conducted in tandem with Step Three, in Step Four you incorporate what was learned in the VIP customer interviews and general customer survey that were done in Step Two. Implement those suggestions that make good business sense. In the short-term, adjustments to service packages, pricing, payment options or up-selling opportunities could pay big dividends. Over the long-term, a potentially lucrative niche market may be discovered and you can begin to assess the competitive advantages you have and resources you'll need to enter it.

Lastly, in Step Five leverage your strengths, perhaps viewing them through the prism of restaurant management. Are you front of the house---excelling at making sales calls, networking and forming strategic partnerships? Or are you back of the house---most comfortable and effective while overseeing operations, generating and appraising financial reports, or negotiating the office lease and vendor fees? If you work solo, consider outsourcing what can be comfortably handed over to another party (like PR or bookkeeping).

When the business value proposition is clearly identified and refreshed as needed in response to shifting customer priorities and preferences, the business owner can institute strategies and tactics that will improve the competitive positioning of the enterprise. The 5 Step Value Proposition Program that will inspire you to re-examine, refresh and upgrade the competitive advantages that your business holds and encourage the kind of buzz that builds up the bottom line. If you can convince yourself to try the first two steps, I guarantee that you will be impressed with the results and sold on working through the entire program.

Thanks for reading,

Kim L. Clark is a strategy and marketing consultant who works with for-profit and not-for-profit organization leaders who must achieve business goals. Kim is the founder and principal of the consulting firm Polished Professionals Boston and she teaches business plan writing to aspiring entrepreneurs. Learn how Kim's expertise can benefit your organization when you visit

Article Copyright © 2014 Kim L. Clark;All Rights Reserved

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