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Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in any Situation by John E. Doerr, Mike Schultz

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Chapter 4

Understanding and Communicating Your Value Proposition

Complex problems have simple, easy to understand, wrong answers.

—H. L. Mencken

Let’s say you’ve worked with a customer for two years and you have a great relationship. If we called this customer and asked, “Why do you work with, and keep working with, XYZ and Company?” What would they say?

Because we’ve asked this question so many times when doing research for RAIN Group clients, we expect we’d get long, glowing stories of business impact realized, trust, positive work relationships, respect for our client as a leader in their area, and more.

Now, let’s say you’ve been working with a prospect for a number of months on a major sale. If you’ve followed the RAIN Selling method, you have a clear idea of the impact you can have on the client and what their new reality will be like after they buy from you. They probably do, too.

It’s not like either of these situations when you first meet someone. The person doesn’t know you, what you do, or what you’ve done. When you first meet someone, positioning the great value that you provide and impact you can have isn’t easy. Communicating value when you first meet someone is one of the greatest problems that all salespeople have. They tell us:

  • Our products and services are difficult to describe—it’s impossible to pare down all that we do into a brief statement.
  • Our solutions are customized to each client’s particular need, so it’s impossible to encapsulate.
  • We help our customers ...

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