So What Do You Do for a Living?

So what do you do for a living?

Some might consider this just neighborly conversation along with the weather and the latest sports score. But for small business owners, it can be the start of a relationship with customers. Are you taking advantage of this opportunity to tell your story?

It’s important to answer this question in a way that tells “what’s in it for them?” In other words, what value will be realized if they do business with you? Experts call this your “value proposition.”

It’s not enough to say, “I run an auto repair shop.” It doesn’t tell people why they should come to you instead of the other auto shops in town. Something like, “I have an auto repair business that offers 15-minute oil changes” paints a much clearer picture. Busy families value quick service and so they see what’s in it for them to come to you.

Need some help to polish your value statement? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make It Quick - Value propositions need to be quick hits. It’s not about how much you say but what you say.  Typically, it can be expressed in a sentence or two.
  • Keep it Natural – A value proposition is not a sales pitch. It needs to flow naturally. So use simple language.
  • Look for Competitive Advantages – What do you do better than anyone else? It might be price, service, products offered or speedy delivery. People will choose you over others because of what makes you different.

A powerful value proposition is a great way to start a relationship with customers. It’s what will attract new ones, keep current customers coming back and get them to spread the word to their family and friends.

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