One of the main points of our "value proposition" is that we never use the phrase "value proposition" - either verbally, in written marketing materials, or even in our thoughts. We're making a special exception for this post, obviously.
Let me explain.
Back when we were working for Big Box Realty, we were first introduced to the phrase by the corporate suits of Big Box. A couple of times a year, they'd show up for a mandatory sales meeting with the intention of unveiling their new and improved "Value Proposition". This was always a big deal, and always included a lot of pre-meeting earnest eye-contact, flesh pressing (of the hand variety), small talk, and a much better breakfast spread than our usual miserable fare.
With great fanfare, they presented charts and graphs and bullet lists galore to explain the changes in the benefits of our mutual association that we could expect in the future. The presentation was always an artful case study of salesmanship - much time and attention was focused on various shiny bits of dubious real value, while the charges and fees we were to bear for the privilege of using the corporate logo were treated as minor afterthoughts. And of course, the charges and fees were the real story - they always increased.
These meetings became unbearable after 2008. The actual value of the "value proposition" rapidly disappeared, to be replaced by much less useful, or often totally worthless, substitutes. And the charges and fees just continued to rise. But the breakfasts got better and better, and one time, we even had a string quartet to serenade us.
Having a "value proposition" presented to us was anticipated as eagerly as a meeting with a used car salesman. As a consequence, we developed a strong and permanent aversion to the phrase, equating it to the worst incarnations of salesmanship.
So what does this have to do with us and our business model? Simply stated, we don't view our business as a sales business and we're not salespeople. We don't use sales techniques to obtain desired customer responses - we don't focus on getting the pen in the hand and the signature on the contract. We don't get close to the line between truth and falsehood to make a sale. And we don't use high pressure or intrusive tactics.
We are, however, marketing people.
And we see our marketing duties as professionalism in effective communication. Understanding markets and those whose acts drive the market's behavior, utilizing state of the art technology, employing honest but compelling presentation techniques, and maintaining standards of the highest quality are our preferred methods to achieve that same result - sales.
But sales, per se, aren't our main concern. Ultimately, we are client service people and client satisfaction is our main goal.
Our main focus is meeting the needs of our clients in a manner that assures the achievement of their goals and leaves them happy with both the manner and outcome of our work. That often involves going whatever extra miles might be required over a time frame with no ending date. It's more work, but we think the results are very much worth the effort.
Happy clients come back. How many times have you sought out a high-pressure salesperson for a repeat deal, or referred them to friends?