Ease the Pain – Millennial Marketer Series, SMPS Pittsburgh

In my previous blog, I suggested that asking your clients pointed questions during the selling stage is the main way to understand their needs. Questioning is the best tool to “find the pain.”

Millennial Marketers clearly understand that once you discover the “pain,” it is your job to then “ease the pain.” How do we do that? By turning facts into value statements. In this blog, I demonstrate how to turn a commonly used, lackluster factual statement into an attention-grabbing value statement that will not only “ease the pain” for your client, but will also distinguish your firm from the pack.

Common Proposal Statement: “Our project manager, Mr. John Q. Engineer, has 15 years of experience providing cost-effective design concepts for our clients on many road and bridge projects throughout the state.”

How many times have you seen that sentence? Proposals are filled with these types of statements. While it may be true that Mr. Engineer has many years of experience and has done great work all over the state, other engineering firms also have seasoned project managers who have provided cost-effective concepts for clients. Therefore, Mr. Engineer is not unique. The first step in turning this fact into a value statement is to ask what I call the “So What Question”…So what does it mean?” Or …“Who Cares?” It is one of the hardest questions to ask. But to turn a factual statement into a value statement, you must demonstrate value. Use words that clearly illustrate Mr. Engineer’s experience and dependability to do the job and how that adds value for the client.

Value Statement: “By recommending a creative bridge design, that was not previously considered as an alternative, our project manager, Mr. John Q. Engineer, was responsible for saving the client nearly $1,000,000 in construction costs.”

Now that statement clearly demonstrates the value to the client in terms of costs savings—one million dollars. Providing explicit phrases that demonstrate results and dependability to do the job right goes a long way towards easing your client’s pain. And to complement your value statements, you can include actual documentation to back up your success. Providing lists of awards, client testimonials or charts that demonstrate project due dates compared to your early submissions further supports your ability to distinguish your firm from the pack.

So the next time you review a proposal, remember to ease the pain by asking yourself, “So what?” It will never fail to improve your submissions.

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