Paul provides insight on how to improve communication by answering four important questions for your customers in your marketing one-sheet.
What do you call it when you explain who you are, what you do, and to whom you sell, and all in under 50 words? Listen and find out.
Do a deep dive into your company, your products/services, and yourself to uncover the value-added extras you offer your customers.
The definition of value is whatever the customer says it is. Give them the opportunity to tell you.
Every prospect you meet wants to know, “What will I gain from this relationship?” Your value proposition answers that question.
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How do I create a marketing one-sheet?
(Transcribed from podcast)
On today’s episode, we’re going to talk about customer messaging. Customer messaging is critical. It’s the ongoing conversation that we have with our customers, and yet many times, as salespeople our messaging just falls flat. It blends in with everyone else. It’s not compelling. We need to create a powerful message—a message that resonates with our buyer. And so, in today’s episode, what I’m going to share with you is what we call the marketing one-sheet: “How do I create a marketing one-sheet?” And this concise tool is going to help you improve your conversations with your customers, and also help tell the story of how you help them achieve their desired outcomes. So, “How do I create that marketing one sheet?”
Now, before we get into that, I’d be remiss not to mention that this content that I’m going to share with you is also available in Value-Added Selling, the fourth edition. In fact, we have an entire chapter dedicated to this one concept, and it’s Chapter Seven, titled, “Customer Messaging.” So, I would encourage you to pick up your copy of Value-Added Selling. It’s available wherever you download your books, or where you pick up your books. Wherever you order ’em, you can find it, alright? And for all of you who have the book already, hey, check out Chapter Seven. It’s filled with tips, ideas. I go into much more depth on how to craft your entire marketing one-sheet.
So let’s get right to it. So, the whole idea behind a marketing one-sheet is pretty simple. On paper we want to be able to make a strong case for why they should work with us, what value they’re going to receive, and most importantly, what outcomes that will generate for the customer. You have to remember, your prospects, when they first meet with you, they have questions running through their mind. They want to know who you are, first of all. They want to know what you have to offer them. They want to know what makes you unique. And then finally, what are they going to gain from all of that? Those four questions must be answered, because whether they ask you those questions or not, these questions are running through your prospect’s mind. So we’re going to help you answer them.
Here’s the basic format for a marketing one-sheet. It’s pretty simple. Begins with your elevator speech. Then you have a list of your value-added extras that you offer customers. This list could be, you know, 3, 7, 10 items. I would limit it to 10 items. Now one of those items also needs to be your unique selling proposition—your uniqueness statement. And then finally, the value proposition. The value proposition statement—it’s a clear statement of the tangible results that the buyer will gain from experiencing your solution. So I’m going to break down each one of these components beginning with the elevator speech. You don’t have to do anything outrageous with your elevator speech. Oftentimes, there’s salespeople who spend so much time trying to be crafty and trying to be clever and trying to almost overexplain what they do. No, keep it simple and explain who you are, what you do, and to whom you sell. That’s an elevator speech. And I don’t use the word elevator “pitch” intentionally because you’re not pitching anything. The elevator speech is a simple statement: who you are, what you do, and to whom you sell. Answer those three questions. Keep it under 50 words as well.
Now, the next piece here, this is where it gets a little more complex—your value-added extras. This is a list of the value that you provide customers, and this falls along three dimensions: company value, product value, and the value you bring as a salesperson. To uncover these ten value-added extras, you’re going to need to do a deep dive within your own company, taking a look at your products, and also the value that you bring as a salesperson. And ideally, in this value audit, you would talk to different departments, talk to different disciplines within your business as well. You’re trying to uncover all the ways that you bring value. You can go to your company’s website, that’s going to provide you a wealth of information as well. Look at your company’s marketing material.
If you’re also struggling to figure out your company’s value, you can talk to your customers already. And here’s how you do this. You have a conversation. You talk to your best customers who you have a good relationship with, and you simply ask those customers, “Hey, let me ask you few different questions. Number one, besides our products, and besides me as the salesperson, why do you like to work with our company? What value do we offer as a company that’s important to you?” Listen intently to what they say. Next, ask a question about your products. Say, “Hey, with the products or services that we’re offering, what value stands out? Why do you continue to buy our products?” and see what they have to say.
And then finally, the salesperson piece, or people in general if you want to broaden it. You can say, “Why do you choose to work with me as your salesperson?” Or “What is it about our people that keeps you coming back?” So, what we’re doing is we’re getting a broader understanding of the value that’s important to our customers. We’ve got to make sure that the items that are repeated the most make it to the list. Pretty clear.
Now, another way you can approach it is conducting what we call a value audit. I kind of hinted at that earlier. This is on paper listing out, let’s call it 30 or 40 value-added extras that you have to offer your customers. What you’re going for here is quantity. You want to get as much value added on paper as possible, then take that list of value-added extras, put it in front of your best customers (again, your customers that you want more of), and ask them, “Hey, here’s a list of 30 or 40 value-added extras that we offer. Which one of these are the most important to you?” And have them indicate it, circle it, highlight it, whatever it’ll be. After you talked to your best customers, they’re going to tell you exactly what matters. And you can take, again, the ones mentioned the most, and make that part of your list.
So, these value-added extras can include things like technical support, inventory availability, support after the sale, longevity in the industry, your expertise, your problem-solving ability. Value is whatever the customer says is value. So, we’ve got to give the customer some freedom to answer that question. So keep that in mind as you try to discover these value-added talking points.
Now, one of the items must be unique. We call this your unique selling proposition, and Rosser Reeves is the guy that came up with that term, unique selling proposition. And when we think about a unique selling proposition, it’s got to be unique to your company and got to be compelling, and it’s got to be tangible in the sense that it offers them a tangible benefit or outcome. And it’s got to be compelling enough to move the masses. That’s how Rosser Reeves defined the unique selling proposition.
I’m going to give you a simple way to identify it. And how you do this is utilizing what we call feeder statements. So how would you fill in this blank? “We are the only ones in the industry that do this,” or “We were the first in the industry to do this.” Or “Customers tell us we stand out because . Alright, how would you complete those sentences? And again, it’s something that has to be unique to your company, because remember, customers want to know what makes you unique. That question is running through their mind, and we have to answer that question, “What makes you unique?” So be able to answer that question.
And then finally, the last component of this marketing one-sheet is your value proposition statement. Here’s the key. To develop this statement, all you need to do is look at your value-added extras that you just listed out. Because remember, every single prospect that you’re meeting with, they want to know, “What am I going to gain from you? What’s in it for me?” They all want to know the answer to this question. The value proposition answers that question. If you were to look at, let’s say, the ten value-added extras that you have listed on your one-sheet, you have to ask the question, “When my customer experiences all of these value-added extras, what outcomes will he or she receive?” What outcomes will he or she receive? And these outcomes have to be tangible to figure them out. They’ve got to be long term. It’s got to focus on results and impact. It could be enhanced profitability. You could help reduce costs. You could help them enhance their overall customer experience or help them serve their customers better. Again, the question focuses on outcomes. What are they going to gain when they experience your value-added solution?
So you have to look long term. You have to look at the point where they receive the impact, and the answer to that question is what your customer really cares about. It’s almost like we call it the so-what question where you say, “We do this-we have inventory available-we offer great technical support-we offer training-we offer problem solving sessions,” whatever it may be. And the customer says, “So what? What does that do for me?” “Well, that’s going to help you ultimately compete more profitably.” That’s the so what. And then they’re also going to wonder when you explain to the customer, “We’re going to help you gain more profit,” they want to know, “So how are you going to do that?” And that’s your value-added extras.
So we’re getting close to the end here, but just a recap. Remember, when a prospect meets with you for the first time, they’ve got questions running through their mind. First of all, who are you? That answer is the elevator speech, which is who you are, what you do, and to whom you sell. They want to know, “What do you have to offer me?” Those are your value-added extras that you go through and list them out. That’s your menu of value you have to offer your customers. They want to know what makes you unique. And your answer to that question is the unique selling proposition. So be able to articulate that. Then finally, the most important question: “What’s in it for me? What am I going to gain from this?” That is your value proposition statement.
So this is your marketing one-sheet. This can be the foundation for your entire messaging campaign. You can create customized one-sheets based on different industries that you serve, based on different types of decision makers that you’re attempting to influence. Because a business owner is going to think differently than an engineer, so keep that in mind. You can customize this, tweak it, make it your own. I would encourage you to create these templates and have them available. If nothing else, it can be your selling script. It can help you onboard new employees and it can help guide your presentation.
Make it a big day.