What is a Value Proposition?

Consulting & Coaching Health Care agencies we return to ‘Value Propositions’… In an effort to explain what that means, this article has been useful.

A value proposition is a brief statement of how people who do business with you are better off from your services.

It is not a mission statement, promotional statement, or brand or core expertise.

Value Propositions:
  • Offer a compelling reason for the buyer’s interests to be met.
  • Are brief and memorable.
  • Inform the prospect and remind you of what is to be gained.
  • Are outcomes, never inputs
Offer data or outcome measurements in clear, understandable language.
  • 87% of people the people involved in our job training programs go on the find long term employment. Long term being 5 years or greater.
  • Our preventative care & early treatment programs decrease llong-termhospitalization by 76%. Saving tax payers $X
  • The families that receive our services from the Healthy Families initiative save (on average) $200/month in house hold expenses.
  • 80% of the Young Adults enrolled in our program graduate high school.

Another Example:

Children live in Stable Supported Families
Indicator or Outcome Measure:
  1. Percent of children in poverty. Increase or decrease over 5 years.
  2. Percent of children in families receiving food stamps. Increase or decrease over 5 years.
  3. Percent of child support paid. Increase or decrease over 5 years.
  4. Rate of substantiated child abuse or neglect. Increase or decrease over 5 years.
  5. Percent of children 5 – 17 in families receiving welfare. Increase or decrease over 5 years.
  6. Rate of out-of-home placements. Increase or decrease over 5 years.
  7. Average number of moves of the child within the foster care system. Increase or decrease over 5 years.

Example above from ‘Trying Hard is not good enough’ Mark Friedman

The value proposition keeps focus on how you make people better off. You can ask yourself whether a given organization or buyer is appropriate. They are appropriate if they align with your value proposition.

Value Propositions are always outputs.

Providing education or health screening or therapy are all inputs. They are deliverables and commodities. They have no intrinsic improvement for the customer or your client. It’s the result of these inputs that are valuable.

Input Output
  • Health Screening
  • Sober living clinics
  • Parenting classes
  • Fall prevention for Seniors
  • Home finance education
  • Job Training
  • Home budget training
  • Live longer healthier lives
  • Maintain gainful employment
  • Stay in their homes
  • Children live in stable supported families
  • Children to stay in school
  • Self-Sufficient Families
  • Decreased $$ spent on health care
  • Families to stay together
  • Financial stability
  • Stay in their homes / community

Your value proposition gives you the opportunity to begin conversations with a focus on making the other person better, alerting them to how their lives can be better from your services.

Your value proposition can change. This may come from an external change to your agency or from an internal decision to shift what you do or from identifying future needs and services.

Give some thought to the fundamental improvement in your client’s condition, reflected in more desirable outputs for the client and client’s customer. Another way to ask this is,

“After I walk away, how is this client better off?”

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The purpose of the value proposition is to cause curiosity, to further the conversation, not to provide answers.

Never let your methodology be your value proposition.

Your methodology is how  you do things, not what the client receives.

For example “We provide budgeting & finance classes that help you manage your money” is not as effective as “We work to make you financially stable, giving you the ability to keep your family healthy and continue on the path to live your best life.”

A workshop or class is a commodity, I begin to compare similar offerings. But financially stable and healthy families are results, and so I begin to think of return on investment if I’m the buyer – buyer may be Insurance, Funders, Community Partners, Consumers of your services, County Agencies.

This leads to the final and most powerful point of the value proposition.

They generally produce a response such as, “How do you do that?” or “What do you mean?” or “I could really use that” Here is where you take from those very desirable questions:

  • You:  We provide support for seniors to stay active, living in their homes, staying healthy and connected to their community and friends.
  • Buyer:  How do you do that?
  • You:  Tell me about your ageing parents (or friends or experience with seniors) and I’ll show you how we can work together?

Notice what happened. Instead of launching into a boring, glazed eyes exegesis about methodology or funding or technology, I’ve enabled the buyer to discuss actual, timely, valuable issues that I can use to discuss how important my help would be. This is far better than reciting methodology or providing free services or handing them a brochure asking them to call you.

What do you think?

What is your understanding of a Value Proposition? Can you share an example?