Forget about an elevator pitch, you need a unique value proposition

The other day I was talking to a friend, who’s been wanting to start a business and she said “you know what my problem is?

The other day I was talking to a friend, who’s been wanting to start a business and she said “you know what my problem is? I need to come up with an elevator pitch because currently when people ask me what I do? I’m just rambling a bunch of things and sometimes I don’t even know what to say).

I immediately told her “You don’t need an elevator pitch… Really? she said.


“What you need to be working on is a value proposition.” I replied

I realized that many of entrepreneurs may be having the same issue. After all an elevator pitch has been drilled into our subconscious. An elevator pitch, tells others what you do. A unique selling proposition, tells people how you do it. A value proposition is a combination of these two AND more.


And yes, we need to be able to summarize what we do in a few seconds, but the key is not just saying what you do. You need to make sure you leave people wanting to hear more about what you do. This is where the value proposition comes in.


Every person you talk to, is pretty much a prospect customer or referral. When you are talking to people you just don’t want to tell them what you do or how you do it in hopes that they will put two and two together and realize why they need what you offer. YOU want to be the one to tell them what makes your offering special and how you can help them, which is exactly what a value proposition does.

Now, as a disclaimer, value propositions are typically used in a B2B setting, but for all the reasons mentioned above I use it as my elevator pitch.

To craft a killer value proposition, follow these steps:

  1. Identify Benefits: Make a list of all the benefits your product offers customers
  2. Link benefits to value offering: Identify what value your product offers to customers
  3. Differentiate and position yourself: Make it clear who your target customer is, what you offer to them and how are you different.

Now here are some important steps to consider:

  • Be specific and clear with your benefits
  • Be sure it can be read and understood in 5 seconds
  • If you can quantify your benefits, results do so (use numbers, percentages, time frames)
  • Spell out intangible values i.e. eco friendly product, improve branding. be sure to not only use
  • Outline opportunity costs, in other words what are they missing out
  • Test it, see if people respond to it
  • Ask your customers questions to determine the value of your offering

Here are some good samples:

  • Kissmetrics gives you the insight you need to optimize your marketing
  • Our clients typically see 40 percent to 150 percent improvements in key operating metrics such as profit margins, rates, and cost savings.

Remember, People only care about what you can do for them. If you have the right value proposition, you’ll be able to immediately capture their attention. They’ll be more receptive and want to hear more about what you are offering.

Check out this infographic from Quicksprout with pretty much everything you need to know about Value Propositions



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