Pushing Buttons – Crafting Your Personal Value Proposition

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Your personal value proposition should be a brief and compelling statement that is designed to start off an (ideally) interesting conversation by defining the value you may be able to provide to the potential Client. Without providing value, business development can often be challenging since it will likely be based mainly on hope or luck, neither of which is a great strategy.

The trick is that value is in the eye of the beholder – or in the case of a personal value proposition, the listener. Even more challenging, each individual may define value in a different way because each of us has unique needs and ‘hot button” issues.” Think about it: the issues facing an entrepreneur at a green tech startup can be vastly different from those of a C-level executive at an established corporation on the verge of layoffs or bankruptcy – and are likely very different from those of the other parents at the kids’ soccer game.


So to push the right buttons, you have to understand the individual you are speaking with. You can start by doing research into the person’s business, organization or industry. But, by far, the best way to determine a listener’s issues and needs is to ask. Only then can you determine what, if any, value you may be able to provide. This is also why you also may want to craft different personal value propositions for different types of potential Clients.

So, in creating your personal value proposition, think like your potential Clients. Frame the statement in terms of their most pressing needs and convey the knowledge and experience that you have to meet them. To test whether your value proposition conveys this type of real value, try this: when composing it, at the end of each of potential value statement, insert the words, “… and this should be important to you because,” and then try to finish the statement. If your ‘because’ is weak, so is your value proposition.