I wrote the following on my website and also my LinkedIn page and felt it was important enough to reiterate it here.
Story = Value
The old ways of advertising and selling are disappearing fast. Today, selling is all about telling the customer's story, not the seller's. Relevant, useful, findable content has replaced glitter and gloss because the only thing more relevant to the customer than money is WIIFM -- What's in it for me?
So how do you best answer your prospect's unstated WIIFM question? By articulating a clear value proposition. Value is the tipping point. If you can articulate it effectively and concisely (not an easy thing to do) you will hook your prospects nearly every time. If you can't, you will have wasted your money contacting them.
We all know that perceived value is often as important as actual value. Clarity, cut and colour became the value proposition for diamonds, along with a marvellous ad slogan, Diamonds Are Forever, that completed the story. Why else would something not that scarce and not that hard to make continue to be so expensive? Your own value story can make or break your company's future. It's the foundation underlying all your customer interactions, whether told directly by a salesperson or indirectly through marketing. Make it a good one.
Story = value. Value -- well told -- builds sales.