Cold Value Proposition? Pitch to Needs

If your company has a hard time explaining itself to your customers, try pitching to their needs instead.

Some companies have a hard time explaining themselves. Maybe their product or service is complicated, maybe it’s esoteric or maybe they just can’t find the right words to express themselves clearly. Perhaps their brand guidelines prevent them from speaking a language that most people can understand. A lot of financial companies and consultancies have this problem. If it’s not a tangible product that can easily be expressed in an image or a sentence, you have a value proposition problem.

Now if that company’s web site is geared toward lead generation, you have an even trickier wicket to play through. If the visitor doesn’t understand why they need the company, why would they give away their information? In cases such as those it’s critical to get the prospect to self-qualify as soon as possible.

Let’s take a complicated product like life insurance. There’s term life insurance, whole life insurance and variable life insurance. You get the difference, right? The names are self explanatory. Well, no. I had a client that was a major insurance company and they approached the problem of explaining the difference between these products in exactly the wrong way: long explanatory copy blocks. Reading long copy blocks filled with industry jargon leaves the prospect ultimately bored and confused.

The right way to approach this is to speak directly to the prospect’s needs. Create a profile of the prospect for each of the products and then have the prospect tell you he or she fits the profile. For something complicated like life insurance the prospect doesn’t know what they want or need, it’s up to you to tell them.

This can be accomplished in many ways. You can do it with:

  • copy: Are you under 50, make over $50,000/year and want protection for your family? Learn more.
  • a slider filter. The prospect moves the sliders for age, health, income, etc. and then the settings are submitted and the optimal product is recommended. 
  • forms, if just the right checkboxes are added and the form is not too arduous. Under 50? Check. Make over $50,000/year? Check.

Get creative with that customer profile, think about how you speak to that profile and never, never be boring.