Let’s talk value. Value is relative.
Value Added, Value Proposition, Value Messages, Positioning Value…
We’ve all heard about “added value”, there’s no value that’s a real value unless it is relevant to the listener and their needs. Many of us have professional backgrounds where we sold services and “value”. My passion is in capturing value and defining what that is for you and for your future employer, or customer. It’s quantifiable – at least if you want it to be remembered and differentiate from the other professional who is also a “nice” person! We all know the corporate saying “What have you done for me lately?” Well, that’s about providing quantifiable evidence to support your value.
Since value is relative to the listener, before you can begin to talk about value, you first have to understand what it is and how it relates to positioning and long-term relationships. Your next employer will be analyzing YOU as it relates to THEM, no matter where you have worked. So YOU personally must know your value proposition. This can consist of your years in an industry and expertise, examples of specific problems you have solved, departments you have managed, revenue you have generated, costs you have contained, efficiencies you created, and so on.
For years, corporations have been trying to get differentiating “value” on the table and the majority of their sales people can be guilty of communicating “features” and “benefits” as value. The problem is, it’s not specific to the listener unless it aligns with the needs driving the demand that also aligns with the customer’s drivers. As I see it, there are 5 drivers: Financial, Social, Competitive, Technological and Regulatory. If you don’t prepare examples to communicate how you help solve problems or perform as it relates to those drivers, then you are just another candidate with a non-focused resume and no prepared value proposition.
Knowing and communicating your personal value is critical. Positioning your value is a lifetime career skill, so the value you bring is in constant need of updating with quantifiable, relevant evidence. You don’t have value unless you are relevant.
I ask you, can you communicate your value in a positioning statement that is relevant to the listener? Remember, this is business, and communicating your value in quantifiable terms and aligning what you accomplished that demonstrates how you can impact their business drivers is the way to differentiate yourself from the others.
Do you have value? Reflect on the last encounter with your boss or a customer, or your last interview. What do you think that person thought, felt, believed or remembered about that last visit? Do you think it is tied to quantifiable results that you discussed which are then tied to a most important relevant business driver?
If so, Congratulations! If not, then you are at risk, no matter what you think. Did your interaction align with your value and not just your intentions? So, having said all of this, begin by defining your value and then try to connect it meaningfully to your next opportunity along with some historical quantifiable relevant evidence of your capability and how together, certain goals could be achieved.
You will differentiate yourself and be perceived as a value! Here is a template to help you get started.
It is time to know your Value Proposition and be ready to conversationally communicate it.
Nancy Swain is a member of the JohnGSelf + Partners transition coaching team, leading the Transition/Outplacement practice and advising clients on candidate profiles. She is also President of Strategic Intelligence in Dallas. You can reach Nancy at Nancy@johngself.com.
© 2017 John Gregory Self