EPISODE 378: Maribeth Kuzmeski, PhD, Says It’s Critical for Sales to Communicate Your Value Prop This Way

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the Creativity in Sales Webinar sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales on February 14, 2021. It featured Maribeth Kuzmeski,PhD, principal at Red Zone Marketing.]

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MARIBETH’S TIP FOR EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “Have your value proposition, video it and make sure it is the best, most crisp value proposition that you believe is a home run. If you don’t believe it’s a home run yet, do it again and video yourself until you have what you think is the home run. Most people won’t take this action step, they’ll say, “I don’t need to do that” but the best will, because that’s how you get better. If you really want to get better, that’s how you do it.” 


Fred Diamond: It’s Friday, so of course it’s our Creativity in Sales webinar and we’ve got Maribeth Kuzmeski. We’re going to be talking about value prop, opening more doors, closing more sales. It’s great seeing you today. By the way, we have a couple handouts in the handout bucket there on your control panel, we also have today’s presentation there as a handout as well. If you’re listening to the podcast in the future, just send me an invitation or email and we’ll make sure you get today’s handout.

Maribeth Kuzmeski, it’s great to have you here. You’re down in Oklahoma, I’m in Northern Virginia, I’m looking at the attendees, we have people from all over North America and I see some of our good friends over in Europe as well. We have some people in London and Belgium, and I believe we have a couple of people in Amsterdam or Holland who like to come to the IES webinars. We’re excited, value prop is an interesting topic. We did a poll the other day on LinkedIn if people are keeping up with their value prop and I had a feeling that they might have been getting rusty as we go through 10, 11 months of the pandemic. Let’s get to it, it’s great to see you and thanks for being with us today.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: Thank you, Fred. We’ve got something positive to share today and it’s a real strategy for really opening up more doors and really closing more sales. We’re going to go through this in a simplistic way where it’s not some calculation that’s going to require a math degree or something like that, this is actually just a simple way of looking at your business, looking at what you do and hopefully being able to come up with a different way of looking at your value prop. I know that it’s difficult.

One of the things that I wanted to share as we were getting started was about what I see as the big sales disconnect. Depending on what industry you’re in, you may not have as big of a disconnect but I work a lot in the financial services industry and the disconnect is out of control. Here’s what the disconnect is, the client of the financial advisor love you, they know the good work you’ve done, they say, “I should have met you 20 years ago, you’ve changed my life.” The prospect, on the other hand, thinks the financial advisor is going to sell them something. You couldn’t be further away from a connection there. When I say sell them something, that means something that’s not in their best interest so how do we close that gap?

That’s one of the things that I want to talk about today because who is going to close the gap? I don’t know if you know, Fred, who you think is going to close the gap but I know who’s going to close the gap.

Fred Diamond: It better be you.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: It’s you! There’s nobody else that’s going to do it. You say, “I don’t know what my value prop is.” Somebody asked you, “What do you do?” and you don’t have a good answer for it, now’s the time to make that change, especially because we have less interactions than we used to have with people. Those interactions are more important than they’ve ever been before and again, it’s a simple way of looking at it but there’s only one person that’s going to close the gap and that’s you as the salesperson, you as the person that’s out there. You’ve got to let people in on a little secret that your clients know that your prospects don’t, how do you do that? You’ve got to be able to share it.

I want to talk about need versus want, because I think this is the biggest problem with value propositions because a value proposition, we go, “You know what? This is what my prospects, my target buyer needs.” So we share that with them, “This is what you need, I have this for you.” It’s not a great value proposition unless what they need is also what they really want. A value proposition is marketing, in marketing we’ve got to go for what they want and then we can give them what they need later but if we don’t give them what they want, they’re never going to pay any attention. I’ll give an example of this and then, Fred, I’d love to get your input on this.

Using a financial firm as an example, I know that a lot of you aren’t financial firms but I’m just using this as an example. The need is that financial firm, we help individuals and families reach their financial goals through creating a financial plan. That’s what they need and there’s no doubt that they need it, there’s no doubt that it improves their lives if they’ve got a good financial plan that’s implemented. However, there aren’t a lot of people who are clamoring to sit down for months at a time with their financial advisor and share with them all the details of their financial life and go through this arduous process that they think is the financial plan. That’s why people put it off all the time, they don’t really want it but they need it.

So what do they want? Well, we’ve got to give them something that they want. Let’s say instead of being general, we’re being specific. An executive wants to reach their financial goals and maybe they’ve got a lot of stock options and they’re all over the place and they don’t know what’s happening with that, they want someone who’s going to do the work for them because they’re so busy doing what they’re doing right now and they want to reduce taxes. These are the wants and we’ll get into what the specific wants are of your target buyers. Your thoughts on this, Fred? Because I think this is a real key deal with getting a great value proposition.

Fred Diamond: I agree with you 1000%. Actually, Maribeth, we’re doing webinars every single day at the Institute for Excellence in Sales and we convert them to Sales Game Changers podcasts and there’s been a couple themes. Josie just commented, “What about telling them what they want?”

One thing that we’ve realized, because of the pandemic that we’re still in the middle of, everybody in the world is dealing with three things. They’re dealing with getting past COVID and the pandemic, stay-at-home, work-from-home, lockdown and all those things. Secondly, everybody on the planet is getting past the financial challenges that have resulted because of the financial crisis because of the pandemic. The third thing is whatever the third thing is, maybe your industry has shut down if you’re in entertainment or sports or if you’re in healthcare.

Obviously, everything has changed so one thing that we’ve been talking a lot about on the Sales Game Changers webinars and podcasts is that as the sales professional, the want that you’re talking about there is you need to be able to communicate that so crisply – which is why we have you on today’s show – because you need to get ahead of the curve with the customer. Because we should know where everybody is right now, for the first time in our history over the last 10 months, we should know because of those three things that have impacted the world.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: That’s absolutely right. I think if you look at what a value proposition actually is, it needs to be this positioning statement that explains the benefits that you provide for that target buyer and how you do it uniquely well. It’s target buyer, it’s benefits, it’s unique. With all the things going on, like you were just talking about, there’s all sorts of ways of thinking about this and this might be a little bit different than it was pre-pandemic for you, for your firm and for whatever it is that you’re offering and your product or service.

This is a fictitious example but if a doctor says, “What you need to do is exercise more and eat less. If you are interested in this, come see me as a doctor.” Or they can say, “We’ve got a great medication that will help you speed up the process of losing weight.” I’d rather go with the medication but when I get into the doctor’s office, he or she is also going to say to me, “You know, you probably need to eat a little bit less and you probably need to work out a little bit more, but we also have this medication that’s going to assist you.” You’ve got to go with the want because people know what they need. If they wanted what they need so much, they would already come in and I know this is a problem in financial services because there’s so much compliance around financial services that we think, “We just got to tell them that we do financial planning.” There’s not a person that wants that, they want all the other outcomes that come as a result of that and I think that’s the key thing.

Here’s a value proposition and it’s very similar to what we just showed but then there’s also the elevator statement which I don’t know, Fred, if you’ve had anyone on here talking about elevator statements and value props. My idea, what we’ve looked at and the research that we’ve done show that an elevator statement is not worthwhile to have it kitschy and real weird, it’s a short part of your value proposition. You pull out what you think is the most powerful part of your value prop and that’s what you give them. This is something that we look at this way, some people look at it differently.

Fred Diamond: I’m just curious, have you worked with a lot of companies to redo the value prop based on where we are right now? One thing we were talking about before is at the Institute for Excellence in Sales, we bring speakers like you from all over the globe to work with sales organizations and sales teams and we talk about, “Here’s how you can become a better sales professional if you listen to Maribeth Kuzmeski and implement her skills, or all the other speakers that we bring. If you do that, you’ll probably get better as a sales professional.” But right now people are challenged with a lot of different things, they’re challenged with like we mentioned before, those three things. Have you seen a big push to maybe the overall value prop that you have here for the financial firm or your other clients while reducing your taxes to get beyond COVID? Have you seen that as a major push with a lot of the companies that you’ve worked with?

Maribeth Kuzmeski: It might not be that you’re actually saying COVID but you’re addressing some of the new challenges because when we get into the formula for creating a value prop – which we’re going to get into in a second – it’s really about figuring out what the challenges are. If people’s challenges have changed, then we’ve got to be right front and center. The other thing is ease of doing business with a firm. If I think it’s going to be this horrible process working with you, I’m not going to take steps forward but if I know you’ve got safety precautions or it’s going to be via Zoom or I know that you’ve made it really easy for me to do business with you because of these processes that you’ve just put in place because everything changed. That’s what I want to know about because it’s not even the challenges that I have right now as a prospect, it’s the challenges that I may have after I start thinking about maybe doing business with you.

Fred Diamond: We have a comment here from Sarah, “The time that people are listening to me has decreased, so the message needs to be much crisper and shorter.” I put in the word crisper there, she said shorter. Everybody’s distracted, even so, it’s the end of February and we’ve talked about how hopefully we see the end of the pandemic but we’re still smack in the middle of it, people are still dealing with it and everybody still has distractions. Stay-at-home mom, kids at school, summer’s coming up in a couple of months, spring holiday, spring break, everybody’s still got so many distractions that it behooves you as a sales professional to be totally crisp. I like what you had on a previous slide, you said, “Target the message for that specific account.” I know we’re going to be talking a little bit later on, on how to get even crisper and more focused.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: It’s true because we’ve done a bunch of research around this idea of virtual prospecting and how you do virtual prospecting better, we actually did a whole guide on virtual prospecting. If you’re prospect meeting when you’re sitting face to face with somebody used to last 30 minutes, it needs to be 15 minutes if you’re doing it via Zoom. If it’s an hour, it probably needs to be 30 minutes and you need to have a lot more visuals and a lot more things going on because everyone’s distracted. It actually makes us better because if we have to say it in a shorter period of time, it’s a lot harder to say something in a shorter period of time than it is to go on and on and make your point that way. We’ve got to be better than ever and that’s why this value proposition is even more important than ever, because it has to address what the challenges are right now today but also be shorter and more concise and hit the points even harder than it did before.

Fred Diamond: Sarah says thank you very much. Let’s move on, this is great.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: Here is the start of the formula, we’re going to give two formulas today but this one is the value proposition formula. I mentioned at the beginning this is simple, this is not something that requires an incredible dissecting mind to figure out. My ideal clients, the biggest challenge they face that I can help with – because sometimes there are challenges that you can’t help with at all – and what I do uniquely well. You probably know who your ideal clients are, you probably know what their challenges are but what you do uniquely well becomes a difficult part of this because “I do what everybody else does.” But there must be something that you do a little bit better because people have chosen to do business with you and those people know, so what are those things? This is the key formula. I’ve seen a lot of other value proposition formulas, but this is one that I really think works. It doesn’t have to be in this order but it helps you break down how you’re going to get there.

Fred Diamond: Maribeth, the only thing I might add right now is the biggest challenges they face that I can help with today. Everybody is going through these challenges and one of the most common things is sales professionals need to take their game up a notch. One of the other common themes that we talked about is if you’re a professional, what does a professional do when times may not be as easy? We have some of our guests who’ve attended who are having their best year ever, 2020 was their best year ever, 30%, 40% growth. We have one member who services the entertainment industry and obviously, 2020 was tough. We have some members that are in hospitality, that was very tough but if you’re the professional, what could you be doing, even today, to show the value in your proposition?

Maribeth Kuzmeski: Again, to go back to the financial industry, what people want is confidence and positivity. The best financial advisors are providing that, that’s not part of what they’ve been asked to do but certainly providing confidence around all of this uncertainty is something that all professionals can do. It’s something that’s really important today because you think about it for a few seconds and you go, “This is not good” but you have some positive people who are instilling confidence, who are super professional, that’s what’s really needed.

Fred Diamond: One of the things that I’ve learned over the last 9 months is we’ve been doing webinars every single day and sometimes we get 30, 50, 200 people who show up on a Friday. If you’re those people who are showing up to understand how you could do this better, you’re going to be so much more valuable to your customers because I guarantee you, not everybody is spending this time and energy figuring out how to provide this value. If you provide it now, it may not be something that you have in your basket right now but it might be some other things to continue to show your customer that you’re professional. Maribeth, let’s move on.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: The other thing that I think we get caught into is I do so many things that people really want and need, but when we’re talking about a value proposition in general, it’s not about all of the things that you do. You think about all of the great things like, “I’ve got to get all these things in, I’ve got to tell them I do this, that and all these amazing things” but it’s really about the results that are delivered and specificity. Instead of saying in a general way, it’s being very specific with examples of how you’ve actually helped someone with that outcome to make it real. “These are the results that we produce.” It’s not about a financial plan, it’s about, “We’re going to help you reduce taxes.” If I’m an executive, maybe that’s what I want, it depends on what kind of executive it is but those things are really important to get beyond all of the things you do and hone it into that one or two things that are really specific.

Fred Diamond: We have a comment here which comes in from Conie, “Even little things can be valuable for some of our customers right now.” Like you said, it’s not the long list of everything you do because people are distracted and people are looking for solutions like, “Just help me get through the day.” Some of our members, companies who sell things have said that their customers are asking them, “Just give me an idea, something different I could be doing to serve my customers” because everyone in sales, you’re serving someone who’s serving someone. It could be a little thing, it could be an idea.

We have a quick question here from Ovie, “Can we have multiple value propositions for multiple markets, and how do we manage this effort?”

Maribeth Kuzmeski: I think it’s critical. If you have a real value proposition it’s not, “We work with individuals, families and businesses helping them with blah, blah, blah.” It’s just such a wide array of people that you could serve but, “We specifically help physicians do this” is very different. If you’re talking to a nurse, you’re not going to talk about what physicians are interested in or an executive, so you’ve got to be able to really think through, “Who am I talking to and what do I do for them?” I think we need to have handfuls of this simple, repeatable value proposition that is designed specifically for whoever your ideal client is. If someone is your ideal client, you should probably have a value proposition for them.

Now, you’re not going to list them all on your website but there are strategies to do that on a website. These value propositions in a lot of cases are done either verbally or they’re done via email or they’re done in some kind of a sales sheet so you really want to make sure that you’re specific.

Fred Diamond: I know we have some more examples coming up on how people can determine these so that they could be crisp and communicating the message right now.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: This is an example from Caryn Kopp, and I understand she was a previous guest not too long ago. She’s a friend of mine, she’s absolutely amazing, she’s one of the smartest people I know in sales – besides, of course, you, Fred. The question is, “What is the biggest benefit you provide that matches the challenges that your prospects and clients have?” Again, it’s going from everything we do that’s so amazing to, “What’s one thing that I can entice you with?” This is not really a value proposition, but it’s a differentiating statement that can get you into your value proposition. “Any [whatever your position is] can do this, but I do [the differentiator].” Then you give an example which is where the specific part comes in.

Let’s look at one of these which we’ve been talking about. “Any financial professional can help you select investments, but I focus on tax savings and tax efficiency for our clients. For example, we helped a client save nearly 40,000 in taxes through smart investing.” This is a real example, by the way, this is specific, it focuses on the want and it goes into what those challenges are that you solve. You don’t just do tax savings and tax efficiency as a financial professional, you do all sorts of other things, diversification and whatever it might be, but it’s focusing on that highest common denominator that might get somebody to go, “I’m interested in that.” Then you can get into more of the value proposition. How do you differentiate yourself? Again, back to one of the questions we had before, this has to be specific to the person. This can’t be something that is just general, “We do this for everybody.”

Fred Diamond: We have a lot of guests who are watching today’s webinar, listening to the webcast and the podcast in the future who come from large companies and I mentioned some of those in the beginning that are sponsors of the Institute for Excellence in Sales. We tell them all, “Treat yourself like you are the VP of your industry for your company.” This would apply if you work for Red Hat, IBM, Apple, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not just the individual financial professional if you will, but how do you distinguish yourself as the experts for your customer? If you can figure that out, you’ll be hugely valuable.

Maribeth, I want to add one other comment here that comes in from Jeremy, “A good way to make the ‘for example’ work is with stories.” We’ve talked about that once or twice too, you had the example here, “We helped a client save nearly 40K in taxes through smart investment.” It doesn’t have to be a 20-minute story. I’m just curious, it’s a little bit of a divergent path but could you talk about storytelling, for example, and how that might go into communicating the value prop? I know it’s probably a little off the topic here.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: It’s not off the topic, I think it’s right on the topic because that’s what this for example is, is the story. This is a very short sentence, it’s not necessarily a story but it leads into, “How’d you do that?” “Let me tell you, this client had this situation and here’s what we looked at and here’s what we thought about.” It’s definitely a story, and the story helps people identify themselves within it and that’s why stories are so powerful. There are all sorts of books on story-selling and things like that, and they’re super valuable because it does work and it’s memorable, which is part of the whole thing. Can anyone remember this later? If it hit home, it will, and stories often hit home.

Fred Diamond: We actually did some coaching with a sales leader recently and she was brilliant, she knew all the right answers and good examples and she asked for some coaching. I said, “Have a couple stories in your pocket, have 4, 5 stories that you always can go to, to illuminate the idea.” It goes back to what you just said here, any financial professional can help you select investments, any sales professional can help you find solutions but specifically, how do you add value to me? Because here’s the thing, the customer is thinking about themselves. “How am I going to get past COVID? How am I going to get past the financial challenges? How am I going to figure out whatever the third thing is that’s affecting my industry or my company?” How do you make that relationship with what you can do as a value prop and then with some examples?

By the way, we did have Caryn Kopp on the Creativity in Sales webcast a couple weeks ago. If you’re an IES member, you could watch her webinar on the Wistia site where we store all of our previous webinars.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: She’s great.

Fred Diamond: The Chief Door Opener.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: She is The Chief Door Opener, she’s actually opened doors for my firm and it works.

This is, again, just a listing of this example that if you thought about this for you personally, are there any examples of maybe how you would do this? I don’t know if anyone wants to post into the questions maybe an example, this is not for scrutinizing or making fun. I would love to see what you guys come up with as it relates to this example because this is the key. If we can get better at doing this, we can get better at opening doors and closing more sales.

Fred Diamond: We do have a couple of comments that are coming in here, Maribeth. The comment here comes in from Nigel, Nigel is an occasional guest of ours. He says, “How can I do this quickly? I find myself sometimes stumbling.” It’s an interesting question especially as we’re thinking this through. Maribeth, one of the keywords that comes across on the Sales Game Changers webinars that we do is preparation. You’ve given them a nice tool, but what is your recommendation, Maribeth, on as a team getting off and preparing some of these angles to help each other?

Maribeth Kuzmeski: The exercise that we talked about before, whether it’s this one or whether it’s the other one which is the value proposition formula, it works great to sit with your team and figure out and brainstorm what these things are. Especially if you look back at, “Who’s our ideal client?” You might know who your ideal client is but the person who sits next to you might think it’s somebody else because that’s who their ideal client is. Then it’s breaking down and brainstorming, “What are their biggest challenges and how can we help them the most and what is it that we do uniquely about that?” In terms of being comfortable saying it, after you figure it out it doesn’t mean, “This is it, we’ve got our value proposition or differentiating statement and we’re ready to go.” You’ve got to practice it because if you don’t practice it, it’s going to come across like it’s the first time you said it.

I remember when I first started my consulting firm and someone would ask me, “What are your fees?” I would stumble around and just sound like I had no idea what I was doing. I had to practice saying my fees because then it came out like I was confident, it’s the same thing with saying any kind of statement that you might say, the more you practice saying it, the better off it will be. We advise our clients to actually go to video and record it not because you’re going to share it with somebody else or with your clients. Record your value proposition, you can do it easily on your phone or wherever else, and then watch it. No one likes to watch themselves, I guarantee that, but you watch it and you say, “That was pretty good” or, “I probably need some help. Maybe that word doesn’t sound exactly right.” Or share it with your team members and see what they think. We do that a lot in training sessions and it’s not to criticize, it’s just to say, “How can we do this better? How can we really get better at this?” Practice is the only way that we’re going to get better.

Fred Diamond: Maribeth, I’ve got a quick question for you. One of the biggest challenges right now are first-time sales managers, it’s a very difficult position. It’s always the hardest position in sales, someone who’s been promoted to first-line sales manager and we found out over the last 9, 10 months that it’s been even harder for all the obvious reasons. You’re not in the room with your team, you’re just seeing them on the screens that we’re all familiar with, everybody gets Zoom fatigue after a while, all those things. What are some of your recommendations for first-line sales managers to implement more of these ideas to make their team more effective?

Maribeth Kuzmeski: I’ll give an example of a manager that I know. He was having these same issues exactly as you described them. “It’s hard, we were doing Zoom, I don’t feel like they’re getting what I’m saying, I don’t know if they are.” This is something that maybe people don’t want to do, but on Friday he has back-to-back calls with every single person on his team where he talks to them individually about their goals. He does it via Zoom now so he can see their faces, talks about their goals, talks about what the most difficult thing is, it’s the personal interaction. That’s where it changes because if I like my manager and I know what my manager wants and I’m motivated to go and do it or I’m getting extra help from him or her, that makes a big difference. It may not be the answer that people want, but it’s really worked for this one particular manager where he’s having back-to-back calls with his people making that individual connection with them, and he does it every single week. That’s a lot of work for a manager, but it’s also worth it depending on how many people you manage.

Fred Diamond: You’ve got to be showing up.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: What if you don’t know the key areas to your value proposition? What if you’re not sure what these things are? This is the exercise where you need to sit down and think about this, and here are four questions that you can ask your clients. I’d mentioned this before, but your clients or customers have decided to do business with you, they know but maybe you don’t know it as clearly as they know it, so ask them. “What’s the most important benefit you receive from our organization? What have you accomplished as a result of working with us?” This might be different depending on what you do, what your product or service is. Differentiation, “How do you think we’re different than others?” It’s not, “What do you like best about us?” it’s, “How do you think we’re different?” and they may not know, but they may know. Then why, “What would you tell others that are similar to you as to why they should do business with us?”

We’ve had some of our clients do this in the form of a survey, do this being on the phone with somebody saying, “Can I ask you a couple of questions about our business?” Or doing it in a Survey Monkey kind of thing, but this really helps. If you’re stuck, this will get you unstuck right away and it also may suggest if some of these things aren’t as powerful as you want them to be, maybe we have to do some different things in our organization so that we can have a stronger benefit, more results, better differentiation and a bigger why. Those are some things that you want to think about.

Fred Diamond: We have a comment here from Corey, Corey asked me not to mention his company name but he’s from a very large company. Corey said that they did this exercise and he was shocked to find the answers that the customers said which, “Had nothing to do with what I’m pitching.” It’s interesting, even if you work for the largest companies in the world, you’re telling the messages that marketing is giving you and you’ve all come together, but they may not be specific to what the customer is actually getting the value from. I remember when I was a consultant, I was an outsourced Chief Marketing Officer and I thought the value that I was bringing was marketing strategy and MBA level strategy, and my best customer said, “You’re making introductions for us which we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.” It’s interesting because it’s hard to market that, but okay. As I’m doing all the marketing strategy stuff, I wanted to make sure I was making those communications.

Maribeth, I know we have time for one more question. You’ve given us a lot of great ideas, I know you have some resources that are available so if you want, move to that slide so people can see how they can reach out to you. Again, I want to thank you for all the great content. A question comes in from Rod, “What’s the best time to be communicating to our customers these days?” It’s an interesting question, we usually ask that during the prospecting sessions but I’m curious. You’re an expert on all things sales, what is your advice on – let’s broaden the question – interacting with customers, contacting customers? Because everybody is busy and a lot of people aren’t back to the office. What are some of your insights on asking to do these interviews like we just talked about? Everybody’s got their challenges, their business, their family. What is your recommendation for getting the time on their calendar to ask these questions and how long should these meetings be?

Maribeth Kuzmeski: There’s a couple things that I’ll share. #1, you want to ask these questions of your clients to make sure you actually know. Like you just said, Fred, you thought you were doing this but they thought the real value was here but we can’t share that real value with others, it’s like that little secret that your clients know but your prospects don’t. We’ve got to be able to know that and communicate it and sometimes we’re just sure we know what the biggest value is and it’s not necessarily what your clients will say it is. I like to do this once a year, to ask clients. If you think you know and you have a good value proposition, just make sure that you’re in touch with that.

I also think that in terms of stating your value proposition, and this is something that I certainly recommend for all of our clients is that your clients may forget about some of the things that you have been doing behind the scenes or things like that. If you want to get referrals – sales businesses live on referrals – they’ve got to know what that value prop is. They may know what your biggest value is that they think you bring to the table or what your biggest differentiator might be or what is unique about what you do, but for them to describe that to somebody else, that’s another thing. That’s why one of the questions was, “How would you describe this to somebody else, what would you say to them?” That’s really important because if it’s not hitting home in the way that you need it to, you won’t see your referrals come in. I think we always have to be reminding them of all the things we’re doing in addition to the things that they know.

Fred Diamond: Maribeth Kuzmeski, I want to thank you for your time. Before we get to your final action step, again, you spoke at the IES probably 4, 5 years ago and you were recommended to us by our good friend, the great Bill Cates, The Referral Coach, who’s been on the webinar before. I just want to acknowledge that you’ve helped so many sales professionals, organizations, teams and leaders take their sales and business career to the next level. If not hundreds of thousands, at least tens of thousands of people that you’ve impacted with the work that Red Zone Marketing does, your books and all the great content. I just want to acknowledge you for that. I also want to let you know that nobody left, everybody who joined today’s webinar, zero people left.

Wrap us up here, give us an action step that people can do today to take their sales career to the next level.

Maribeth Kuzmeski: I would say exactly what I said before, which is to have your value proposition, video it and make sure it is the best, most crisp value proposition that you believe is a home run. If you don’t believe it’s a home run yet, do it again and video yourself until you have what you think is the home run. Most people won’t take this action step, they’ll say, “I don’t need to do that” but the best will, because that’s how you get better. If you really want to get better, that’s how you do it.

Fred, on the screen there are three guides and I didn’t really explain what these are. We’ve just written three guides after all the research, we’ve done a ton of research during the pandemic on how people are getting new business right now. One of them is specifically for financial advisors, but all of these can be found at the Red Zone Marketing blog, or you could just email info@redzonemarketing.com and say “guides.” That’s all you have to say and we’ll send you back a link for all of these three guides, they don’t cost anything.

Fred Diamond: Avi says, “We love Maribeth.” Nelson says, “Thank you so much, Maribeth.” Jordan says, “This was great.” Suzanne says, “Thank you so much.” On the video thing, the kids have an expression, “I was today years old when I discovered something.” You know what I discovered yesterday? I discovered an app on my laptop called Camera which allows you to take pictures and video yourself. I would go to Zoom, record myself, save the recording, go to my video editor. Maribeth Kuzmeski, once again, thank you so much, be well, stay safe. Everybody else, thank you so much for being with us today, we’ll see you on the next Sales Game Changers webinar or podcast.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

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