How to make your value proposition irresistible

by Steli Efti

Want to sharpen your sales pitch? Make your cold emails more effective? Create a more compelling value proposition? Perfect your sales script?

Here's what most people do to achieve that:

  • Buy books about sales and marketing
  • Read blogs, watch videos (hi there!)
  • Visit workshops and seminars
  • Ask others for feedback
  • Hire consultants and sales trainers

All of these are great options, but only after you've done something else first. Ask your prospects and customers!

Next time you send a cold email to a prospect, and you see them opening the email (Close.io shows you when a prospect has opened an email), call them up and ask them:

  • Hey, what about that subject line made you open this email?
  • What did you expect in the email body?
  • What effect did the email copy have on you? Were you disappointed? Surprised? Curious? Delighted? Interested?

Don't even make it about selling them anything at that point. Your first priority for this call is to simply gather information and learn about the motivations and perceptions of your prospect.

Next time a prospect responds to your cold email, ask them:

  • What about this email prompted you to respond?
  • What made you feel like this is relevant to you?
  • Why didn’t you just delete or archive it?

Next time someone agrees to get on a call with you, ask them:

  • Why are you getting on this call with me?
  • Where do you hope this call might lead you?
  • What do you want to get out of this call?

If you've given an online demo, and the prospect loves your product, or you just closed a deal, ask the enthusiastic prospect or new customer: 

  • If you were to tell your colleagues about our product, what would you tell them? How would you sell it to them?

Ideally record the call so you can focus listening to the prospect, rather than jotting down phrases and words. (Our sales CRM makes it easy to automatically record your sales calls and easily access them from within a lead page anytime you want).

Learn from your customers

By doing this regularly, you'll gain valuable insight. You’ll learn what kind of language to use, which benefits matter, and what problem your prospects are trying to solve. These are the people you want to appeal to, which is why the feedback they provide is the feedback you want to listen to first.

The points that prospects and customers repeatedly bring up are the ones that will have the strongest appeal to your target audience.

If you want to improve your sales messaging and your value proposition, the best source for feedback and insights is not the sales expert with an $8,000 daily fee. No, it's your prospect, the one who is a great fit, but didn't buy. It’s your customer who put his money and reputation on the line by investing in your solution. Learn from them before you learn from anyone else.


Further reading:

Why startups need to visit their customers
One of the best things we've done as a company last year was to visit our customers in their office. We got to see how they work with our sales software, we were able to improve our relationship with them and discover new ways of improving the experience our customers have when interacting with our sales CRM and our company.

How to ask powerful sales questions
Asking questions is a skill you should continuously hone to get better in sales. In this post I lay out how to avoid the most common mistakes sales people make when asking questions, and how to ask questions that help you move the sale forward.

How to develop a first sales process for your startup
Haven't build a sales process yet? Here's a simple guide to get you started. Once you've build this, you can use the strategy outlined in this post (asking your prospects and customers) questions to refine and improve this rough process.