social media value proposition

Time to read: 3.5 minutes. From start-ups to large corporations we’re all creating value by cranking out content—blogs, videos and white papers. Yet most are failing to create enough value to generate sales. Here is a 3-step system that will create so much value customers will often ask you for the sale. Don’t just create social media value propositions. Create value customers will actually pay for.

Before you start: Change your perspective

If you skip ahead to the 3 steps without changing your mindset what I’m about to tell you will not work. Get comfortable giving away what you’ve been protecting for so long. Tell prospects your most useful secrets. Give them new knowledge that has material impact on their lives. Tell them things that move their needle.

Because value is what you help customers create, not what you give them. Here’s what I mean.

Show potential clients the value you provide is in the doing—not merely the knowing.

Help them achieve something by showing them how to achieve it. Don’t stop at giving them knowledge. That’s what everyone else is doing. It won’t help you create sales. Dumping knowledge on people does not convince them to buy.

Instead, coach customers. Here’s how…

Step #1:  Share NEW insights liberally (or don’t share anything at all)
Step #2:  Prove you’re worth investing by giving ‘results in advance’
Step #3:  Affirm buyers’ right to choose (give them freedom, disarm them)

Let’s look at these step-by-step…

Step #1: Share NEW insights liberally

Want to get a lot of attention from the sea of qualified customers out there? Shut up until you have something NEW to say. Let’s say you have a new point of view or a better way of doing something your customer needs done.

Share it.

Give content away free and make sure it’s your best stuff.

Effective social marketing filters out people who you do NOT want to talk to. If someone can’t afford what you sell, or doesn’t see the value in it (yet), let them try to do it themselves. Or let them waste the time of your competitors’ sales reps!

Let go.

Focus your time on netting fish that DO see value in your services—and need little (or no) convincing of it. Let them find your treasure trove of answers that proves you:

  1. Completely understand the market;
  2. are bold enough to give away the answers (and not worry about people “stealing” your knowledge) and
  3. realize value is in the DOING not merely knowing
In the end, you get paid for what you do—not what you know. So if you have something revolutionary to share release it. If not don’t say anything at all.

Step #2: Prove you’re worth it with ‘results in advance’

Most businesses are convinced: In order to sell, they’ve got to get trusted online.

It’s a terrible goal.

Customers will not trust you based on what you say, where and how you say it. Don’t kid yourself. Saying things in honest, transparent ways that “puts the customer at the center” DOES NOT move the needle.

Getting them confident in themselves does.

Change your customers’ success rate. That makes them confident in themselves… and that rubs off as trust in you.

Spill the beans on what you know and show customers how to get results they crave, in a limited way. Make them hungry for more by showing them how to solve a small yet serious problem—one that you can eventually connect to what you sell.

Get started by asking yourself, what pressing problem do we solve? What pain do I remove?  What pleasure can I help create? What freedom does our service permit?  What important connection does our product allow? If you’re interested in getting started right now (free) check out my free video training.

Moving the needle for customers before they pay you a dime proves buying your product is worth it. Your product transforms from something to buy into something to invest in.

Step-by-step giving “tastes of success” involves:

  1. Creating response that puts customers on the path to deciding if & when they want to buy
  2. Proving yourself by giving “results in advance” designed in ways that encourage purchase
  3. Creating confidence in buyers… so much they ask you for the sale

Think about what moves your needle more: Someone who tells you a product or service will satisfy you… if you buy it, or someone who proves it to you before you purchase?

Don’t squander your unique point of view, insight or new way of achieving success. Hand out a sample of it—in return for the ability to nurture a conversation. Help customers decide for themselves on what’s best for them.

Step #3: Affirm your prospects right to choose

If your prospect doesn’t ask you for the sale first, you’ll get around to making a call-to-action. You’ll ask for the sale. When doing so be sure to reaffirm your prospects’ freedom to choose. Because doing this indirectly says to them: “I am not threatening your right to say no. You have free choice.”

It’s the one really easy persuasion technique everyone should know: Affirming your prospect’s right to choose. Supported by 42 studies on 22,000 people it’s practical, can be applied in almost any situation and works consistently.

Of course, exactly when and how you make calls-to-action is determined on a case-by-case basis. Deciding on an effective lead nurturing routine is largely experimental and requires balancing your social media value proposition with promotional calls-to-action.

Just remember: When helping customers create value for themselves (in ways that gives them reasons to invest in you) your calls-to-action will ask them to do something. Be sure to add on the sentiment that they are free to choose. 

People have been shown to donate more to good causes and give more to someone asking for a bus fare home. The words you’ll use are not terribly important. Phrases like, “But obviously do not feel obliged,” worked just as well as “but you are free to decide.”

Change your customers’ success rate

Don’t just create social media value propositions. Create value customers will actually pay for. Value is what you help customers create, not something you give them. So get out there and spill the beans on what you know and show customers how to get results they crave—in exchange for the chance to nurture conversation with them.

Show prospects how to solve a small yet serious problem that you can later connect to what you sell.

Get started by asking yourself, what pressing problem do we solve? What pain do I remove?  What pleasure can I help create? What freedom does our service permit?  What important connection does our product allow? If you’re interested in getting started right now (free) check out my free video training. But obviously don’t feel obligated 😉

In 1999, I co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc. where I helped secure 2 rounds of funding and built the sales team. I've been selling for over 2 decades.

After this stint, I returned to what was then Molander & Associates Inc. In recent years we re-branded to Communications Edge Inc., a member-driven laboratory of sorts. We study, invent and test better ways to communicate -- specializing in serving sales and marketing professionals.

I'm a coach and creator of the Spark Selling™ communication methodology—a curiosity-driven way to start and advance conversations. When I'm not working you'll find me hiking, fishing, gardening and investing time in my family.

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  • Great post Jeff.

    Especially step 3 affirming their right to choose.

    If you affirm that right with high intent it will go a long way to bringing down the guard of the prospect.

  • Jeff I have been doing this but it brought out that I could do more.

    • Congrats, Edward, on having the smarts enough to do it. How’s it going for you lately? Keep in touch and let me know. I’m always looking for new success stories to profile! 🙂

  • Hello Jeff,

    Very often I get paid for what I know, not for what I do. So I re-invent strategy, think of sustainable solutions and concepts. The majority of my customers want me to tell them what to do. They want to implement my ideas themselves. Any thoughts on how I should deal with sharing my knowledge? I have already written a book..


    • Hi, Leontine…
      Nice to meet you. I’m not sure I understand, sorry. Are you saying your customers just want to know what to do — and wish to AVOID paying you to do it for them?


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