We’ve written a gazillion posts about the importance of selling the value of physical therapy—as well as the value of your specific services. After all, so few of the patients who could benefit from receiving physical therapy are actually receiving it. Thus, it’s clear that most of the general public still doesn’t understand what this profession is capable of—namely, helping people restore function, improve wellbeing, and recover from injury without relying on dangerous, costly interventions such as surgery or opioid pain medication. But, with all that focus on selling your value, we haven’t yet covered what a value proposition actually is. So, without further ado, here’s what you need to know about value propositions in healthcare (including how to create one):
What is a value proposition?
According to Michael Skok—in this Forbes article—“In its simplest terms, a value proposition is a positioning statement that explains what benefit you provide for who and how you do it uniquely well.” Basically, it’s a sentence or two that “describes your target buyer, the problem you solve, and why you’re distinctly better than the alternatives.” As Will Kenton explains in this Investopedia article, value propositions are commitments: “A value proposition is a promise by a company to a customer or market segment. It is an easy-to-understand reason why a customer should purchase a product or service from that specific business.” According to Kenton, “the ideal value proposition is concise and appeals to a customer's strongest decision-making drivers.”
Why do I need a value prop?
According to Peep Laja in this post, “A value proposition is the [number one] thing that determines whether people will bother reading more about your product [or service] or hit the back button.” While Laja is clearly referring to a potential customer’s behavior online, this statement works metaphorically for other interactions as well. If you’re not clear about the value of your care—or you’re not able to articulate it—then people will most certainly leave your website (or head for the door). As Rob Steffens says in this article, “inbound marketing is a lot like dating. You rarely get a second chance to make a first impression!” A solid value proposition—one that accurately reflects the value your practice actually provides—goes along way in securing a positive first impression (and hopefully, many, many more).
How do I create a value prop?
In order to develop your practice’s value proposition, you’ve got to know what you do well (i.e., better than anyone else) and who you best serve. Skok suggests keeping “the fact that you are core to your venture’s value proposition” top of mind. To guide you through the value prop creation process, he provides this admittedly “not original,” “intentionally typical” framework:
- “For (target customers)
- “Who are dissatisfied with (the current alternative)
- “Our product [or service] is a (new [offering])
- “That provides (key problem-solving capability)
- “Unike (the product alternative).”
Make it unique.
Once you’ve completed the above framework, you can use your answers to craft a unique value proposition for your practice. According to Kenton, “Value propositions can follow different formats, as long as they are unique to the company and to the consumers, it is servicing. However, all effective value propositions are easy to understand and demonstrate specific results from a customer using a product or service.” Furthermore, according to Casey Newman—in this blog post—good value propositions should:
- “Be concise and easy to understand
- “Define what you do
- “Make it easy for someone to find you in an online search
- “Explain how your product resolves a pain point for your potential customer
- “Be displayed prominently on your website and/or your consumer touch points
- “Answer the question: ‘If I am your ideal customer, why should I buy from you instead of any of your competitors?’”
Expand your definition of “competitor.”
Now, for physical therapists, your “competitors” aren’t necessarily limited to other PTs. In fact, you may be better served by considering your competitors any of the other non-PT “solutions” offered to address neuromusculoskeletal conditions (e.g., opioids, surgery, or YouTube videos). After all, fighting over the mere 10% of patients who are already receiving PT might not be as fruitful as targeting the other 90% of patients who have historically opted for other interventions, especially considering that—as WebPT President and Co-Founder Heidi Jannenga explains here—“even if we only reach another 10% of the patients who need us, that adds another 11 million patients to our collective patient load (approximately 335 patients per practice).”
Use language your customers use.
According to Laja, it’s imperative that a business write its value proposition in language that aligns with how its customers talk—not necessarily how it speaks about its offerings. So, how do you find out how your customers talk about your practice—and the value of your services? Laja says you’ll find the answer “outside your office.” In other words, “You have to interview your customers to find it out, or use social media.”
What do I do with my value prop?
According to Kenton, your value statement “should always be displayed prominently on a company's website and in other consumer touch points.” Laja goes one step further, saying that “you have to present your value proposition as the first thing [...] visitors see on your homepage but should be visible in all major entry points of the site.” While a value proposition isn’t the same thing as a tagline, you may be able to use the same message for both. Just make sure that you have the proof necessary to back up your value prop. As Newman explains, “If your value proposition declares that you have ‘the most easy-to-use marketing automation platform’ on the market, you’ve got to back that up.” Similarly, if your value proposition is about getting athletes back on the field or court fast, then you must have the outcomes data to support it.
Newman also suggests A/B testing your value proposition statements on your website to determine the most effective language for converting potential customers into actual ones—as well as using pay-per-click (PPC) ads to test for resonance.
What are some examples of good value props?
- Duolingo: “Learn a language for free. Forever.”
- Crazyegg: “Make your website better. Instantly.”
- Champion Physical Therapy and Performance: “Look like a champion. Feel like a champion. Move like a champion. Perform like a champion.”
- Netflix: "See what’s next. Watch Anywhere. Cancel Anytime."
- Thumbtack: “Find local professionals for pretty much anything.”
There you have it: everything you need to know about value propositions—and how to create a unique one for your practice. What do you think about value proposition statements? Does your practice have one? If so, we’d love to know what it is. Please share it in the comment section below. If not, what’s keeping you from creating one?