How to stand head and shoulders above your competition.

Money flowing from faucetFour easy fill-in-the-blanks value proposition templates.

We all know the importance of your value proposition. It’s the main thing that sets you apart from your competition. With the right value proposition, you’ll stand head and shoulders above everyone else selling the same thing.

Yes, you studied hard to earn your designations. They help, but your competitors have them, too. You need something more. Without a compelling value proposition, you’re just another advisor. There’s no reason a prospect should choose you.

Just to make sure we understand each other, your value proposition is what you say when somebody asks you what you do. It’s what you put on your website and brochures to describe what you do for clients. A value proposition has also been called a “Unique Selling Proposition,” or USP.

The word “unique,” however, gives many people brain freeze when they try to craft their own value proposition. Coming up with something that’s unique is too hard, because it means you’re the only one in the entire universe who offers what you do. That’s an impossible standard. As a result, I like to substitute the word “special.” Simply write your special value proposition, or SVP.

To help unfreeze your brain, here are four easy fill-in-the-blank templates. They’ll help you get your creative juices flowing.Just fill in the blanks with whom you help and your areas of expertise. Here’s a tip. If you have words you’ve heard your flesh-and-blood clients use in this context, they’re the best words to use here.

Template #1

I help________________ get (or other action verb) _______________________.

Fill in the first blank with your target market, such as business owners, engineers, college professors, executives and so on.

The second blank is the main result you provide your clients. It can be something like guaranteed lifetime income, tax-free retirement, a secure retirement or a savings plan to meet their retirement goals.

Template #2

I help __________________  _____________________ get ________________________.

Here you further define your target market: McDonald’s restaurant owners, Boeing top executives, Ford Motor Company engineers or U of M professors, for example.

If you specialize in McDonald’s franchisees, for example, you can say “I help McDonald’s franchisees get a comfortable retirement.” Or “I help Ford Motor Company engineers make the most of their retirement options.”

Template #3

The famous marketer, Jay Abraham teaches:

Most businesses in my industry do __________________. But what we do is ______________________.

Example 1. Most financial advisors help people make better decisions about their money and their lives. But what we do is help families build and keep their wealth over generations.

Example 2. Many financial advisors help executives plan their retirement. But what we do is help top Dell Computer executives make the most of their bonuses and retirement funds.

Template #4

Here’s a way to make yourself look unique even though you’re not.

We are the only _________________ that ______________________________.

Here’s an example of a value proposition based on the way you treat your clients. “We’re the only financial advisory firm that strives to turn you into a raving fan.” Or you might say, “We’re the only wealth advisors who promise to turn you into a raving fan.”

You might have noticed that there are other firms who strive to do this, too, but they don’t say it. You’re not really unique, but because you say it, you appear to be unique.

So there you have it. Spend time and energy working on your vital value proposition. The templates are really simple, but filling those blanks with the right words is very important. Your value proposition is  definitely one thing that will distinguish you from your competition so you stand head and shoulders above them.

Remember, your value proposition doesn’t have to be perfect, because it never will be. But  it’s important to make a good enough one now. Start using it in the real world, get feedback from people whose opinions you trust and keep refining it.

I’d love to hear your comments, questions and examples.


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