Your value proposition and the vision of success

Two kinds of selling consultancy
Contractor versus Value Bringer

In the previous unit, we made a distinction between acting as a contractor and acting as a value bringer.

If you or your firm are to be properly rewarded, the client needs to recognise the value that you will deliver in advance. The value is not necessarily obvious to them. If it was, they would be specifying what they wanted, and your role would be more like a contractor than a ‘value bringer’.

What do we mean by value? In this course we will talk about the vision of success. You could use the terms business case or value proposition, but these do not emphasise the act of imagination that you need from your client. We want the client to imagine a future in which their situation has changed for the better.

12boxes diagram highlighting vision of success
The vision of success

The vision of success has two components. The first is the client’s vision of what will be different in their situation. It is about what people will be thinking, saying and doing. They could be colleagues, customers, or any other stakeholders such as shareholders or government agencies.

The second component is about the observable or measurable outcomes from the change. It is better to explore this after you have invited your client to imagine what people will be thinking, saying and doing. They will think more realistically about the outcomes if they have already considered the changes that will be taking place.

We call the process where you get the client to explore the differences and outcomes that you are going to help them achieve the value conversation.

The value conversation gets the client to buy-in to the value that you are offering. It makes it real for them because they are thinking it through. In holding the conversation, you rehearse the client in key elements of the story they tell themselves and colleagues. What they tell their colleagues, and the conviction with which they tell it, is important because you will not be present when many of these conversations take place.

The value conversation will not immediately achieve an order for your services – although that sometimes happens – but it means that the client will be genuinely interested in your proposition and ready for a serious discussion about how they can achieve the untapped value they have discovered from speaking with you.

Achieving your client’s buy-in to your value proposition is a pivotal moment in your conversation. The dynamic will shift. Instead of feeling that you are pushing against the natural resistance that happens when you are trying to get someone to see things differently, you should begin to feel that the client is pulling you towards them.

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The client engagement process

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Module 1 Bringing Value
Unit 1 Start here  - Preview
Unit 2 Bringing value to clients
Unit 3 Your value proposition and the vision of success  - Preview
Unit 4 Setting up your value conversation: agreeing a resolution  - Preview
Unit 5 People create a narrative when they decide to make a change
Unit 6 The narrative structure for a consulting opportunity
Unit 7 Converting your client’s interest in your proposition into a firm order