How to Use the Business Value Message for Successful Client Conversations

Successful Negotiating, The Business Value Message

In all the work you have done through the first 5 modules of "Creating your Strategic Vision", you have devoted tremendous effort to demonstrating your Value Message. The challenge is how do you do this? It is done by asking the following questions:

1) What does your business bring to the marketplace beyond the basic industry core competencies?

2) What's unique about your business?

3) How will you communicate this?

Before we get into addressing these questions, let's try to understand why someone might buy from you. There are several key concepts of understanding the mind of your prospect.

For your prospect to agree to buy from you, she must go through what is called: The Pain of Change. This is a measurement of the prospects feelings and experiences associated with doing something such as decorating.

You need to relate this to the Consequences of Not Changing. This is the prospects losses they incur by not doing business with you. Perhaps it is the emotional letdown of not using your decorating skills.

When a prospect first becomes aware of your business, they believe that they are doing fine without you. They also believe that if there are consequences for not doing business without you, this is acceptable. If this is true, then you do not have a prospect.

In order to begin the selling process, you must introduce the concept that there are indeed consequences associated with not doing business with your company. If there are no consequences, there is little chance of making a sale. To educate your potential prospect about the dire consequences of not doing business with you, you need to use questions to raise this awareness.

Before we get into asking these questions, let's think about you ideal prospect. What would be the potential pain or risk if they were to do business with you? This is what was referred to before as The Pain of Change.

Here are some examples:

It's too expensive!

I might make poor decisions.

I could end up with poor quality workmanship.

I am afraid to do custom work.

I am not convinced of your decorating ability.

I don't trust you.

It is up to your Value Message to answer these concerns. Your prospect will work hard to convince you that you do not have a Value Message, so they can base their buying decision solely on price. If you can't defend your Value Message then you run the risk of being judged as a commodity. It is urgent that you communicate your Value Message so you can separate your business from the competition.

There are certain core competencies that every competitor brings to the market. These competencies are things all competitors do, and are essential to be taken seriously in the marketplace.

However, if you choose to compete based upon only the core competencies that everyone else has, you insure that your business will be considered a commodity. If you only want to discuss things like product quality and price, you will be evaluated solely upon the investment required to buy what you are offering. Your uniqueness of what separates you from the competition will most likely be ignored.

The concept of the Value Message says that you must bring something unique to the market place so you can convince your prospects to go through The Pain of Change and buy from you.


List the 3 strengths or unique features of your business offering:

1) In House Workroom

2) Great Showroom

3) Talented Design Team

For each strength list a corresponding consequence the prospect experiences by not having as part if the offer.

1) In House Workroom-A lack of quality control and higher prices because of no middleman.

2) Great Showroom-No ability to view actual examples of work.

3) Talented Design Team-Not having treatments that you can show off.

For each consequence indicate how does it show up? Who ultimately gets the bill for not having it? Who feels the consequences the most?

1) A lack of quality control and higher prices because of no middleman, results in poorly done treatments that the consumer pays for and is stuck with.

2) No ability to view actual examples of work, results in not being able to picture your custom window treatment ahead of time, and ending up disappointed because of not meeting your expectations.

3) Not having treatments that you can show off, results in not meeting the emotional expectations of the client. This is what she values most. Remember, Decorating is Entertainment!

To review, let's take one of the strengths and add the corresponding consequence and the result:

An In House Workroom addresses the problem of poor quality control and the issue of higher prices because of no middleman. The result of not having such a service could be poorly done treatments which the consumer ultimately pays for and is stuck with.

By Neil P Gordon
Image by Stuart Miles


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