It is not about what you want; it’s about what the customer values. A pivotal concept in FFS is understanding what value clients see in the services you provide. Hence, knowing your client is key.
In an industry dominated by a product sales mind-set, it requires a mind-shift to look beyond the product and to what the client values. A client value proposition or CVP is required.
Drill Bits and Holes
A good CVP must solve an issue. Peter Drucker, the late management guru, used a drill bit analogy to explain a CVP.
…People do not want drill bits, they want the hole the drill bit makes…that’s the “…what’s in it for me…”
In developing a CVP, it is necessary to look beyond what is being sold, to understand how it is solving a problem or providing a benefit. Michael LeBouef uses the following examples:
● Do not sell me a house. Sell me comfort, contentment, a good investment, and pride of ownership.
● Do not sell me a book. Sell me pleasant hours and the profits of knowledge.
● Do not sell me clothes. Sell me a sharp appearance, style and attractiveness.
● Do not sell me insurance. Sell me peace of mind and a great future for my family.
● Do not sell me things. Sell me ideals, feelings, self-respect, home life and happiness.
The customer must have a need or a problem that requires a solution, whether they currently recognize it or not. If the need is latent, typical for personal risk insurance, then the proposition will often include messages to “disturb” the customer and highlight the need. This seems obvious, but often, sales people waste time trying to sell to customers with no need, latent or otherwise.
Value, is simply the difference between the customer’s perceived benefits and consequences of selecting your solution, compared to the competitors. To win, the customer must perceive that your CVP must be superior to the alternatives being considered. This includes competitors, or the possibility of the customer doing nothing.
The most important component of a CVP is the “what’s in it for me…” from the customer’s perspective. Hence, it is necessary to study and analyse how your services affect your customer’s “satisfaction” the most.
In the coming articles in this series, more information around the FFS issue will be provided.