“The Referral Coach,” Bill Cates, has spoken at the IES numerous times. This blog originally appeared on his web site here.

Sure, being different or unique can help you grab the attention of some prospects. But “what makes you different” is NOT what makes you compelling – moving a prospect to take action. Being unique or different is NOT what will ultimately win you a new client.

So, if being unique or different is not what wins you the business of a new client, what does?

5 Elements of The Ultimate Value Proposition™

Expanding on what I started last week, below are the 5 elements of a value proposition designed to win new business. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I think you’ll see that these elements are all interrelated and important.

  1. Targeted – In just about every industry we could name, generalization has given way to specialization. And, to a degree, the more specialized the better. If you haven’t already done so, get super clear on the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your ideal client. A targeted value prop is at the heart of all the elements that follow.
  2. Attractive – I guess it goes without saying that we want to talk about our value in a way that attracts people toward us. Being targeted will help that, because the prospect will say to themselves, “This gal understands my world” or “He gets me.” Probably the most important aspect of an attractive value proposition is your “personal why” or “personal mission.” This is where you become real to your prospect, which is what makes you attractive.
  3. Authentic – Have you ever heard someone talk about their value in a way that may have been “different” but just didn’t seem genuine or “real?” Tricky, trite, or cheesy value propositions are often associated with the Elevator Pitch. Having a short, concise, and interesting way to communicate our value IS important. But, if what we develop does not feel genuine to us, we won’t use it (nor should we).
  4. Distinctive – I talked about this a bit last week and will continue to discuss the value of being able to distinguish your business from others. Your “difference” can help you grab the attention of a prospect or center of influence. And if a prospect is confused as to what direction to take, your distinction certainly might help them take a closer look at your value. I sometimes get asked, “How is your system different that ______’s system?” If I don’t have an answer, I might be putting myself at a competitive disadvantage.
  5. Relevant – This is probably the most important of all the 5 elements, and you can likely surmise that the first four feed into this one. More than anything else, you’re prospects want to know, “Why are you the right fit for me?” Meaning… “Why are you, your value, your solution, your mission… most relevant to me?”

At some point in your process of courting a prospect – if you sincerely believe that you are a good fit for the prospect’s situation – then make sure that you tell them that, and tell them why you believe your offering is relevant to them. They want… no, they NEED … to know that.

Don’t ever assume they’ll come to that conclusion on their own. Be confident. Make a recommendation for the next logical step – whatever that may be.

The Ultimate Value Proposition is a Compelling Value Proposition

If a value proposition does not compel someone to take action… create movement on the part of your prospective clients… then it’s fatally incomplete. First and foremost, the most effective way for your value proposition to move someone to take action is to be relevant.

When every question you ask and everything you say is relevant to your prospect, you are attractive, authentic, targeted, and distinctive. You will appeal to the emotional component of the decision making process and will win the new client.

If orange is the new black, then relevant is the new unique!