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4 Value Propositions You Can't Own (and 1 you can)

Scan any broker website across Canada and you’re likely to find one or all of these benefits as part of the brokerage’s value proposition:

  1. Expert advice

  2. Competitive pricing

  3. Customized coverage

  4. Personalized service

The problem?


None of them can be ‘owned’.


By ‘owned’ I mean that you can’t claim it to be your own.


Any broker can use them. Say them. Especially your competition.


And the problem is that when you go down this road, you sound like everyone else.

Here’s a story.


I was working with a producer, who was working with a prospective client.


The prospect asked them, “What’s your value proposition?”


A fair question.


The broker said, “Let me get back to you.” They went away and thought about how they help clients.


And then came back with a well-thought out, 4 pronged response:


“I deliver… Expert advice, Competitive pricing, Customized coverage and Personalized service”


You know what the prospect said?


“Any broker can say that.”


Damn. If that isn’t a gut-punch, I don’t know what is.


Two things immediately happened:


1: The prospect levelled the producer. That’s such a deflating statement.


2: The prospect lumped the producer with every other producer they are competing against.


When you say the same thing as everyone else, you say nothing.


(And you can't blame the producer. They are likely working from the same messaging platform that their brokerage uses. And almost every other brokerage, too.)


Is delivering “Expert advice, Competitive pricing, Customized coverage and Personalized service” important?


Absolutely!


But these are expected. They’re table stakes.


A prospect who is asking for a value proposition is looking for something else.


And believe me, think of this like the iceberg phenomenon: when one person is asking, 9 others are thinking it.


Prospects are looking for someone who is different. Someone who brings something different to the table. Someone who, according to Bob Burg, they can “know, like and trust”.


But the challenge is, 'what'?


You’re in a commoditized product market.


You have the same training as everyone else.


Brokerage-level branding converges on the same messages.


If you rely on those 4 benefits or outcomes to market yourself, you’ll be in for a grind. You won’t stand out.


Why?


Because you still can’t own any of these things.


Which begs the question: what can you own?


Your values.


Think of creating a VALUES PROPOSITION instead of a value proposition.


Here's how.


#1 What are your values and beliefs?


Really think about this. What makes you, you? Why do your friends like you? What are your values.


Think also about interests, hobbies, activities that you do outside of work.


Like our fingerprints, everyone is unique. And with the right framework (like the one I use in my Brand Build course) you can bring this uniqueness forward through your brand.


#2 Who are your ideal clients?


Paint a picture of your ideal client. Think demographics like age, gender, life-stage, education, career path. Then think about what matters to them from a values perspective.


#3 Look for the overlap. Your values. Your ideal client’s values.


Once you have this you can start to develop a message that is meaningful to you AND your ideal client.


From there, think about building a VALUES PROPOSITION.


Align on values.


Then create messaging that speaks to those values.


Finally, devise ways to show how your actions, your behaviours, your offer reflects those values.


Then you'll have a unique value proposition that you'll own.


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