In 2016, comedian Tim Young performed at the Riot Act Theater in Washington, D.C. He invited his girlfriend on stage in the middle of his set, offered a ring, and proposed marriage. She rapidly shook her head "no" and ran out of the room with her friends. After an awkward pause, he delivered some awkward jokes. It was a fun night for the audience.
The word "propose" means to "set forth" and shares a root with “proposition.” But as our friend the comic learned, setting something forth doesn't mean others will receive it. You have to persuade recipients of value.
Sometimes the value is obvious.
Sometimes the value is less obvious.
The clearer your product's value, the more likely someone will receive it. That’s why a good value proposition is important, but value propositions can be tricky to write.
We're going to melt away the difficulty with three simple methods.
We are the only _____ that ______ for _______.
We are the only chicken fat distributor that delivers chicken fat for the world's finest restaurants.
If you want an example that’s not about chicken fat (but why would you?), here's how LeadIQ might use that method—especially with limited word space.
We might say, "We're the only prospecting software that automates personal outreach at scale for SaaS companies."
See? short and sweet. If you have more room, try this next framework.
First, identify what you do (ex., We help you create the tastiest chicken fat dishes in the world).
Next, explain how you do it (ex., by exclusively harvesting fat from obese chickens and delivering it to your kitchen in beautiful canvas bags).
Finally, illuminate why you do it. (ex., because only fat from obese chickens satisfies the demanding palates of today's top chefs).
LeadIQ's version: "We help you fill your pipeline quickly through excellent data, strategic automation, and personalized outreach at scale so you can beat your competition."
What if you want to build trust?
Try this template:
For _________ who ___________, __________ is __________ that __________.
1. First, list the target audience.
For _________ (ex. top restaurants)
2. Then identify their problem:
Who ____________ (ex. need premium flavors)
3. Name the product or service:
____________ (Heavenly Fat)
4. Define market category:
Is _______________ (ex. gourmet-grade chicken fat)
5. List the benefits or features.
That _________________ (ex. is rendered exclusively from obese chickens, delivered straight to your restaurant, and sealed for freshness in no-drip canvas bags).
Compare LeadIQ's take: "For SaaS sellers who need to fill pipeline, LeadIQ is scalable prospecting software that identifies your prospects, clarifies your workflow, and optimizes your outreach."
So there you have it! Three proven ways to set forth your product's value. Works great for businesses that need to differentiate (but only so-so for marriage proposals).
Actually, that's not bad.