Value propositions are nothing new, they’ve been around for a while, but not everyone knows the importance of having one, especially when it comes to writing your bid response!
In this post, we’re going to dive into what value propositions are, the different types, why you should have one, what to include, and finally the 4 easy steps to write your value proposition.
What Are Value Propositions?
Simply put, value propositions are small statements that clearly explain what your company does and how it fills a need in your industry. It communicates the benefits of your product/service and shares why it’s better than similar products/services within the market.
Customers/clients need to know how you solve their problems and make their world a better place, and that’s why value propositions are so important.
Because if you don’t understand your value, how do you explain it to your potential customers?
The Different Types of Value Propositions
Value propositions can come in many different shapes and sizes. Below, we’ve listed the most common ones and what they’re used for!
Customer Value Propositions – The most standard kind, this statement is to explain to a client/customer why they should be choosing your company to work with. It should cover a pain point that is a common occurrence within your client base, followed by how you can solve the issue for them. It should also cover what your company does, your company values, your mission, the benefits of using your service/product, and the features of your service/product.
Employee Value Propositions – You’re likely to see this type of value proposition within job adverts. It should be a short statement that outlines the benefits an employee will receive in return for their skills, capabilities, and experience. This could be in-house promotions, extra days off, Christmas bonuses’, etc… You should include things current employees enjoy about working for you.
Employer Value Propositions – Potential customers are caring more and more about how a company treats their employees and what they get in exchange for their skills. This is the reason why we have Employer Value Propositions! This statement is to showcase that your company cares about its reputation as an employer, and not just how successful the products/services are. It can be described as a promise between an employee and an employer. You should include things that make your company attractive to work for, for example, bi-monthly team meals, in-house training, etc… You should also include how working for you is different from one of your competitors.
Why You Should Have a Value Proposition
Potential customers/clients won’t buy from you if they don’t understand the problem that you’re solving for them, how you deliver the solution, and the benefits to them.
This is the goal of your value proposition!
Whilst it might not seem like you need a value proposition to run your business, in sales you do (and bids are simply a written sales document). It’s what differentiates you and makes you stand out from the crowd.
It’s good practice to have one written and ready to go in case you’re ever asked for one.
Your value proposition is the first impression a potential client is going to get of your business, and first impressions can make or break a person’s decision to buy from you!
Think back to the last time you purchased something from a company you hadn’t come across before. Did you:
- Research the company to make sure they were a legitimate business?
- Look at their reviews?
- Read a statement on their website/social media that states how they can help you?
This is the process clients will go through before they even consider purchasing from you, both through your bid and then any external sales or marketing collateral they can lay their hands on.
Having a value proposition can:
- Help your customers to quickly understand what you’re offering
- Support your bid responses
- Helps you to win bids
- Shows how your business is different to your competitors
All of the above, and more, show why you should have a value proposition. Even if you’re not in the position to start bidding yet, having a clear value proposition on your website (that’s easy to find) could help you secure work outside of the public sector!
What Should You Include in Your Value Proposition?
When it comes to figuring out what to include in your value proposition, we highly recommend planning your statement out with a brainstorming session first!
You could do this in a diagram, or just a list. Including your team in the brainstorming sessions is helpful as they can bring things to the table that you might not think of, especially if they regularly speak to your current clients/customers.
Your clients need to understand how you meet their needs, it’s critical, and that’s why having a value proposition for your bids is important. It gives your clients a solution they didn’t know they needed.
You could include:
- Your company mission and purpose
- Your long-term vision
- Your core values
- The benefits of your product/services
- The features of your product/services
- How you have solved a current customer’s pain point
4 Easy Steps to Write Your Value Proposition
Step One: Your Company
Within bid writing, you always have to write as if the company running the tender has never heard of you before – 9/10 this is the case, which is where a value proposition can be extremely useful.
You need to be able to explain your company to somebody who has no idea what you do, how you do it, or why you do it. This doesn’t need to be a lengthy explanation; it could be as simple as ‘We’re a Bid Writing Support company that specialises in helping small businesses grow by helping them win them all important contracts.’
Step Two: Problem Solving
Have you ever come across a question within a tender that asks how you will solve a specific problem if it arises? You need to be able to explain how you can from the moment it’s recognised through to it being solved.
Within your value proposition, you need to do the same thing, but in a lot fewer words! It’s not as difficult as it sounds; you simply need to highlight the most common pain point your customers have and state how your company solves this.
‘If you don’t have the time to search for relevant opportunities to bid on, we can do this for you! We will search all live opportunities and filter out any we think would be suitable for your company, we will then pull out the most important information and send this to you in an easy-to-read format’
Step Three: One Liner
No, we’re not suggesting you come up with a funny company catchphrase, but it is similar! What we are suggesting is that you sum up your company in one sentence to finish off your value proposition.
This should be catchy, and easily identifiable to your company, something that catches your potential customers’ eye at the last minute making them look back and read through the rest of your value proposition if they haven’t already. It should also imply, or state, what your company does.
For example, Uber’s ‘one liner’ is Uber – The Smartest Way to Get Around.
Ideally, you should try and make this sentence stand out, either by separating it from the rest of the text or by highlighting it, either by making the sentence bold or italic. You can also use this across social media pages, within your email footers, and even on any printed marketing materials.
Step Four: Images, Images, Images!
You wouldn’t think that an image can be of importance within a value proposition, but it is.
An image brings together your entire statement and makes it look eye-catching and professional.
If you’re a product-based company, use a product photo, ideally one that is used when solving the pain point you mentioned in your value proposition.
If you’re a service-based company, you could use an image of happy customers, of your service in use (if it’s a programme), or anything related to your services. Again, this should ideally be based on solving the pain point you mentioned in your statement.
As long as your image is on-brand and easily identifiable as your company, then whatever you choose will work perfectly.
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