Trade Show TalesBlog

Word on the Street — June 22nd thru June 26th

June 26th, 2009 1 COMMENT
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

What’s Your Value Proposition?

This was a frequent topic of conversation this week as I traveled. Both in my meetings and in a conversation with the person sitting next to me on my flight back to Portland.

Wikipedia defines Value Proposition as: “A Value Proposition consists of the sum total of benefits which a vendor promises that a customer will receive in return for the customer’s associated payment (or other value-transfer).”

Whether you are a manufacturer trying to secure a new distributor relationship or a distributor trying to sell a new exhibit, your Value Proposition is often one of the most important deciding factors whether a customer decides to do business with you.

It does not have to be one product, one service, or one quality. As a matter of fact, it should consist of several attributes and qualities. At Classic, we try to live by several that make up what I believe is the Classic Value Proposition.

Here are two examples:

1. The first is simple and many of you have heard me say it many times, “We do what others are unwilling or unable to do.” A great example of this is how we approach our CNC metal bending process. Our competitors generally shy away from bending aluminum extrusions along the “hard edge.” A good example can be seen in the VK-1043 Magellan Hybrid Display. Often, kits like this are born from projects that came to us because an existing provider could not or would not produce the unit the way the client wanted. I am proud to say this is how we have attracted so many new Classic Distributors.

2. The second is equally important, Our Customer Service Philosophy. At just 15, I started working for Nordstorms as a stock boy. You may not all be familiar with Nordstroms. It’s a department store chain, based in Seattle, that has locations in many major U.S. cities. The renowned Nordstoms’ Customer Service Philosophy was impressed on me at a very early age. The Nordstroms Way, a book by Robert Spector and Patrick McCarthy, quotes James Nordstroms, prior to his death in 1996, telling his eventual successors, “Continue to think long-term. If we give a better value today, five years from today we will be a better company.” It sounds easy enough, and it is, if you view service “as an act of faith!” I encourage you to read the book and discover what I learned by working at this remarkable company.

These are just two of the Value Propositions at Classic. I plan to explore others in in the weeks ahead. Are these two set in stone? Yes . . . but others are not. As a company and as a team, we need to be flexible to meet the needs of our customers.

How about you? What are the core attributes that create your Value Proposition? Excluding things like your stunning good looks, great sense of humor, and expense account, why do customers do business with you? I look forward to hearing from you.

Be Well!

–Kevin Carty


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One Response to “Word on the Street — June 22nd thru June 26th”

  1. Jewel says:

    Great post, Kevin! Besides my “stop traffic” good looks and great sense of humor, I think my Value Proposition also includes honesty and trust. My clients know that I am not going to “sell” them anything, but rather help them with finding the best solution. Many times, they end up with something different than what they thought they wanted. And, sometimes, that new solution is less expensive than what they had in mind. It’s because of this that I have many repeat clients. They know that I’m not just in it for the money–I want to be establish a long term relationship–based on mutual trust and understanding.

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