You’ve no doubt heard of the importance of a strong value proposition. But what exactly is a value proposition? Value propositions are often confused with “elevator speeches” or “unique selling propositions.” It’s essential to understand the difference among these terms because their purposes and impact on sales are very different.
Elevator speech. An elevator speech is a short, one to two sentence statement that defines who you work with (your target market) and the general ways in which you help them.
About 10 seconds long, it’s used primarily at networking events to attract potential clients and to stimulate discussion. The following elevator speeches show you how some people describe what they do:
- “I work with small businesses struggling to sell their products or services to large corporate accounts.”
- “We help technology companies effectively use customer information to drive repeat sales.”
- “I help small-to-medium sized manufacturing companies that have difficulties with unpredictable revenue streams.”
Unique selling proposition. A unique selling proposition (USP) is a statement about what makes you and your company different from other vendors.
Its primary value is to create competitive differentiation. A USP is often used in marketing materials or in talking to customers who are ready to buy.