Questions

Why am I being declined all the time (needing improvement of Value Proposition Articulation?)

Hi, I'm wondering if someone could please offer me a hand of help because I'm literally at the bottom of my hopes. No matter what I say and how I say, the result is always being declined like "we aren't interested" or "we already have this" or "situation is not that bad" etc. I'm approaching worldwide public companies (enterprises) and my main focus are, due to the nature of the value, Chief Financial Officers and/or their first level assistants. Sometimes I provide my message to CFO directly but usually I provide it to assistant to pass it to CFO. I'm involved to the lending firm and I'm looking to get new borrowers so "our" underwriting team may either approve or decline their request but everyone is telling me they are not interested or they have good liquidity position. Sometimes I provide my message in a form of email content, sometimes in a form of self recorded video speech presentation where I upload the video of me speaking to Google Drive and send them the link with two clarification files in attachment. I can't just schedule the call with someone here on Clarity because payment in advance is required but I'm paid (never been yet because of no success yet) negligibly small amount of the deal only if they really request additional capital (no one has done it yet) and if our firm approves it. We are talking about the potential of very large amounts in the nonrecourse loan and I'm approaching giant public companies with extreme numbers in their revenue. Would anyone please be willing to discuss this with me further and to check my communication (pitches / approaches) to see what I'm doing so much wrong: 100% rejection rate? I'm looking for entrepreneurship C board of directors communication (value) expert... I don't sell anything! There is no marketing involved but it's about putting the massive value to their business and making sure they do NOT use their own capital for whatever purpose (goal).

5answers

It’s pretty simple, your offering has a lot of issues for what and how you’re targeting
- you product, money, it’s a “commodity” so why you, your money, your firm?
- The big boys (public) have tremendous relationships with big, known, credible capital sources.
- They’re sophisticated so they know your capital has to be roughly at the same costs as the many trusted avenues they currently have for capital
- I mentioned “trusted” a few times as it’s KEY. Does the firm you represent have a well known brand or known trust elements?
- They are public companies and risk adverse so the likelihood of them entertaining a cold call or cold email from an unknown capital source is very low. Why? All things being similar they’re much better off taking and announcing capital from a trusted branded bank or firm.
- Trust: with all the capital scams out there triggered, especially online, they are likely also reacting to scam risk first.
Unless you have a trusted product (brand, people, story etc) and a way to get in front of prospects in a trusted way (conferences v email) i think the odds are really tough the bigger the company.
Perhaps your product offering fit smaller or growth stage companies who have less options and aren’t public facing where Capital brand is so important.
B


Answered 15 days ago

I can feel your frustration and I understand. This is a loaded question and I encourage you to go back to your basics. What is your business model and is it not solving the right problem, or is there not a problem to be solved? Perhaps a shift in the model is needed.
If you have researched your model and it's solid, then some research into your prospects to drill down to the problem you are solving would be helpful. That will inform your value proposition.
Unfortunately, this is an undertaking that won't be an easy answer and you likely would not get a lot of volunteers without paying for consulting. Do you have an advisory board? Have you looked into any of the startup accelerator programs? Those may be additional avenues for help.
This is clearly time to buckle down and invest in your business to find the problem and fix it.
All the best!
-JL


Answered 18 days ago

Hi JL. Thank you for your reply. Business model is non-recourse loans industry. So the lending to worldwide public enterprises with publicly traded stocks. Preferably in large volume. I know it might sound weird and even non-sense that on one side I'm asking for no-upfront consulting fee and complaining about how would I pay to consultant and/or asking for at least some revision of my current approach material (pitches, messages, etc.) before doing any consulting payment. On other side I'm representing lending firm with no max limit, willing to lend as a non-recourse capital hundreds of millions or even exceeding a billion of euros (or whatever other currency) if performance of the stock justifies requested amount. Thoso two sides, being involved in such large transactions and not being able to pay upfront consulting fees (or at least asking for free revision of existing material first), don't really match. However, be aware that I only earn negligibly small commission if I succeed AND if our underwriting department approved the non-recourse loan request regardless if it funded in tranches or not and regardless of the purpose of capital usage. The problem I'm trying to solve is either lower than planned liquidity position by public company (worldwide) or desire to have more capital. However, so far I have been failing with my approaches due to the fact that, believe it or not, all of the companies seem to hate to have more capital. They don't want additional capital and don't want to save their existing (planned) source of financing to reach whatever goal they have. They always prefer to spend rather than save. Result of this is their lie that they don't need anything, even if I prove them wrong using charts, calculations, statistics, facts from presentation events for Investors (note: we are lender but not investor!), numbers in quarter or annual reports, etc. They still lie saying they don't need or they don't desire to have more capital. Even if I say that I have alternative solution in case if they are legally obligated to spend their own source of capital to reach some goal, e.g. acquisition. Our capital can be used for anything else but result is the same - they aren't interested. The main problem in my approach is that no one wants non-recourse capital. Feedbacks are always the same: "we are not interested" or "our financial / liquidity position is stable" or "we don't want someone else's money" or "we can't change our planned source of financing to reach X goal" etc.

I understand I will have to pay for consulting and I will do so. But, just want at least a little bit of care to be taken in advance, at least revision of my current material. I attempted to contact corporate law firms, management consulting firms, official advisors, PR agencies, appointment setting agencies. Majority of them (e..g law firms) said this is not something they can help with. Others (e.g. PR agencies) required upfront payment. My case has nothing to do with startup.


Answered 18 days ago

A significant part of defining a value proposition involves what I like to call the 4Us. If you find yourself answering a definitive yes to most of these questions, then you are on the right path toward a compelling value proposition. If not, consider re-evaluating and revising your new venture.
· Is the problem Unworkable? Does your solution fix a broken business process where there are real, measurable consequences to inaction? Will someone get fired if the issue is not addressed? *If the answer is yes – then that person will likely be your internal champion.
· Is fixing the problem Unavoidable? Is it driven by a mandate with implications associated with governance or regulatory control? For example, is it driven by a fundamental requirement for accounting or compliance? *If the answer is yes – then that group will likely be a champion.
· Is the problem Urgent? Is it one of the top few priorities for a company? In selling to enterprises, you will find it hard to command the attention and resources to get a deal done if you fall below this line. *If the answer is yes – then you know you will have the attention of the c-suite.
In B2B technology markets, you want to be in the position of addressing problems that are blatant and critical, as they are far more acute than those that are latent and aspirational. Blatant and critical problems stand in the way of business. Latent problems are unacknowledged, which means they often require costly missionary selling. Aspirational problems are optional, which is the hardest of places for a B2B start-up to sell.
Though it should be noted that many successful B2C products are based on exposing latent aspirational needs.
EVALUATE whether your breakthrough is unique and compelling
· Defensible technology - offers intellectual property that can be protected to create a barrier to entry and an unfair competitive advantage. · Disruptive business models - yield value and cost rewards that help catalyse the growth of a business.
MEASURE potential customer adoption using the Gain/Pain Ratio
So, the Gain/Pain ratio involves measuring the gain you deliver the customer vs. the pain and cost for the customer to adopt. Non-disruptive is critical to start-ups since the gain you deliver will also be discounted by the risk associated with betting on you as a young company.
Once you have gone through the defining, evaluating, and measuring steps, you are ready to BUILD your value proposition, for which I recommend the following kind of framework.:
a. For (target customers)
b. Who are dissatisfied with (the current alternative)
c. Our product is a (new product)
d. That provides (key problem-solving capability)
e. Unlike (the product alternative).

Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath


Answered 17 days ago

The first thing I'd say is that nobody buys value propositions.
Really.
Value propositions are useful marketing tools, and useless sales tools.
In phone prospecting you have (approximately) 3 seconds to get 30 seconds to get 3 minutes to get 30 minutes.

If you don't sound right, you will have a challenge getting 3 seconds and rarely 30 seconds.

Your question is not actually about Value Proposition as much as it is about Prospecting.

This might be fixable...

Cheers,
Marty


Answered 15 days ago

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