All posts by Oz du Soleil

Value Proposition: What Do You REALLY Know & Do?

Irreverent Sales Girl, thanks for the opportunity to share something with your community. Bringing a dash of dignity to the art of selling is a delicious mission that I’m honored to help serve. So, let’s hop in and talk Value Proposition.

What is your Value Proposition? What is it that you really do for your customers, clients, social media community, and colleagues? One way to find out is to get yourself interviewed.

The idea of getting yourself interviewed came up in a workshop on cultivating oneself as an expert. In an interview you look smart and respected; you get attention and share useful information. But nevermind all of that. A recent interview became the spooky experience of cutting trough to the essence of what I bring to Data Management, Data Quality, my clients and their clients.

The Interview can be heard here

The Invitation for an interview. Let’s crack this egg and see what’s inside!

Last Thursday Tshombe Brown asked me to be a guest on his radio show Selling With Spirit for a live broadcast on Monday 8OCT. I agreed, and he sent me sample questions so that we would have a shared sense of how the hour would go.

I looked at the questions. Okaaaayyyy … nothing about pivot tables, SQL queries or parsing strings of data. Tshombe asked questions that would be interesting and provide value to his listeners. The questions also unearthed the 24-karat essence of why I am passionate about data quality, what I really bring to my clients. What I really know and do.

“What are some roadblocks to small business owners
practicing effective Data Management?”

Hmmm … Surprisingly, I had a good, thorough answer for that. I’ve been unconsciously navigating people (clients, bosses, co-workers, friends) past those roadblocks for a long time. You’re probably like me, we’re more conscious of the doing, the deadlines, the fires, the unopened emails, and not the expansive richness of what we offer. Surely, I can parse the hell out of some data. But what else? What’s an unspoken benefit that you’re not conscious of when you’re putting out fires? For me:

  • Advising against requests that can become open doors for crap data
  • Warning about legal aspects of acquiring certain data
  • Listening to the client for the tools that they want to use and the learning curve that they can handle
  • Automating as much as possible to minimize human error
  • Solutions that minimize upheaval in the business and processes

A few years ago I sent a dashboard of summaries to a client, letting her see inside of her monster spreadsheet. I was proud. She was going adore this masterpiece and show it to everyone in town. Her email reply:

“I can tell this is smart but I kinda hate it.”

She then re-stated her initial request. I quickly deleted all of the extra stuff that she “kinda hated” and she was happy with the result.

 

Value Proposition: delivering what she needed & ditching the showmanship.

 

 

Give this some thought for yourself. What if someone outside of your field asked what is it that makes you necessary? They won’t understand technical mumbo-jumbo. Your practiced vapid elevator pitch won’t cut it. This is especially true if we’re in a field that has a bad reputation or performs a mysterious function.

As I jotted notes responding to Tshombe’s questions, it was spooky to see just how much guidance I provide. A year ago I presented myself as a master of Microsoft Excel. After this interview, it’s clear that my Value Proposition is

User-focused guidance in Data Management, using many tools—including Excel—to ensure that businesses function with trustworthy data.

This came about via an interview, an excellent interviewer who asked good questions and listened very acutely to succinctly summarize my long-winded answers. This was more juicy than any professional development workshop I’ve been to.

Determine Your Value Proposition

If you haven’t been interviewed by someone who listens, asks good questions, and is outside of your field; someone whom you aren’t trying to impress as a potential client, hurry up and do it! You and your clients deserve to uncover your true Value Proposition.

I leave you with: always wear a nice hat and PLEASE keep your data clean!

Tshombe Brown, Selling With Spirit Radio
EGG photo credit: Pete Ashton via photopin cc

 

Please comment. Share your thoughts, insights, and experiences.
Have you had your Value Proposition clarified in an unexpected way?

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