Have you watched The Voice on Monday night TV?
Play along with this reality talent show and you will participate in a fascinating experiment, because what you hear doesn’t always match your expectations.
There are valuable lessons to take away from this self-test. Being a perpetual marketer, I’ll tell you what I’m talking about.
First you have to understand the premise of the show. Four famous vocalists in the music industry have their backs to the stage. One by one, wanna-be stars come onstage and sing their hearts out. If any one voice is good enough, each famous musician can individually push a button to turn his chair around and finally see the person auditioning.
Pushing the button also means the star chooses the unknown singer to be on his team, which he will then coach to fame. The star commits to the singer, sight unseen, based solely on “The Voice.”
The fun is when a contestant embodies a voice you would never expect, based on his or her appearance. A tiny woman belting out an Aretha Franklin song, for example; or a nerdy young man doing a soulful, heartbreaking number. It happens more than you would think!
As a perpetual marketer, I find lessons in everything I see.
- Can you imagine being able to pitch just one element of your business to prospective customers and clients?
- Could you isolate the #1 winning quality that you would put out there first, above all others?
- If you had to hide everything else, what would you want your prospective customers to know about you and your business?
That “one thing” is your value proposition. That’s your “Voice.”
In reality, people choose to do business with you based on many factors. They may hear about your service from a friend; they may drive by your shop every day on the way to work; they may have found you online, liked what they read and signed up to get a quote or subscribe to emails. Maybe they met you and liked your friendly smile. All of those factors contribute to your value, but any one of those factors alone probably wouldn’t close the deal.
A combination of influences and small nudges plays a big part in winning a customer. Marketers drive themselves crazy trying to figure out what all those factors are and testing all the combinations. But the secret comes down to this one thing.
I’m talking about that one factor that would close the deal if all other factors were irrelevant. That one thing that would cause some one who was looking for your product to “push the button and turn around” without being moved by all those other influences.
If you know what you do best, you will be able convey your value proposition in all of your marketing touches. Your challenge is to answer that question. When you do, you will begin to build a memorable brand and people will run to do business with you.
Since your value proposition doesn’t operate alone, make sure all of the supporting pieces lead your customer to it. For example, your secret sandwich sauce will never get the tasting it deserves if your wait staff is rude and lazy; no customer would put up with that to take a bite of your sandwich!
Frame your value within all the necessary parts of your business to naturally lead people toward it. In technical or complicated sales cycles, your ideal customer may need more than a few touches and some explanation/education to highlight why you are outstanding in your field.
In any field, try to discern how you are distinctly different from your competition in one special way and the top reason why your customer should part with her hard earned money for your offering.
When you know what it is, then your authentic value will virtually seep out of everything you do.
Just like the contestants on the TV show, the better you understand and practice your uniqueness, the easier it will be to get people to stop; to remember you; and to do business with you.
They’ll hear your voice and turn around.