The heart of a compelling value proposition is a solution that prompts your prospects to say “You can really do that?”
Every successful business starts with a compelling value proposition. A business that starts without a value proposition will soon develop one or find success elusive. A compelling value proposition, articulated well, keeps current customers coming back and helps you find new customers. The heart of a compelling value proposition is a solution that prompts your prospects to say “You can really do that?” Such a response indicates you have resolved a key frustration in their personal or business lives.
Wyatt Electronics was a major manufacturer of electronic and computer equipment. It had a stellar reputation for quality, innovation, reliability, and technical know-how. The company had solved the problem of ‘just-in-time’ inventory management for all the technical hardware that went into their computers. But this high-tech juggernaut had a big problem: boxes. Its computers came off the assembly line like clockwork. But, repeatedly, when the computers were finished there were no shipping boxes. A high-tech assembly line ground to a halt for lack of a low-tech cardboard box.
Nobody at Wyatt wanted to be in charge of boxes. Highly paid electronics engineers were loath to say, “I’m in charge of box procurement.”
An employee saw what the real problem was and told management, “I can set up a low-tech system for delivering boxes on time, every time, guaranteed! Your manufacturing process will never again have to stop for lack of a box.” Management’s response, as you guessed, was “You can really do that?” Her proposal was accepted and she set up a company to outsource the solution to this vexing problem.
To set up the boxing system, we used the Business Performance Review, a step in The Profit Process that extrapolated the cost of lost profits to Wyatt due to the down time. We costed the proposed solution using the same process. We then implemented observations and measurements points that insured boxes were always ready when computers were finished.
In the year preceding the boxing solution, the Wyatt manufacturing line stopped for more than 4 hours on 13 separate occasions. In the five years since the new system was installed, the line stopped once for less than an hour. The cost of the new system was measured in pennies, while the increased revenue was measured in millions of dollars.
The compelling value proposition of this small company was “there will always be a box there when you need it--guaranteed.” This was not an elegant high-tech solution to a technical problem. But it was a solution to a recurring frustration for Wyatt. Management was open to this solution because they were acutely aware of a major source of lost profits. The key to business success is finding someone’s big frustration and solving it—guaranteed. It’s the “You can really do that?” factor.