All business leaders understand the importance of identifying and communicating a value proposition. Differentiating one’s services and shining a light on the unique benefits your company or organization offers is foundational to success and goes far beyond a slogan, tagline or elevator speech.
The most powerful and effective value propositions not only articulate distinctive advantages from the recipient’s point of view. They also establish why your organization is the best equipped in the marketplace to meet their needs.
When a loved one is dying, experience and quality matter. As a nonprofit, our value proposition focuses on our clinical expertise and breadth of services. Our focus is on providing ideal patient care. This means all of our physicians are board certified in hospice and palliative medicine. We also have the highest percentage of nurses and other clinical team members certified within their specialties.
As an organization works on developing its value proposition, it is also essential to challenge “institutional knowledge,” or what an organization believes it knows about itself. Performing an objective organizational self-assessment can be a helpful tool in understanding the mindset and true needs of those who need your services or products.
It’s important to ask the tough questions. What are the top challenges of people who need your services? What spoken and unspoken messages are you receiving from team members, colleagues, vendors or those who have used your services? What obstacles or barriers do people need to overcome to access your services?
What inspires them?
It is also vital to understand the complexity of the space in which you operate. Within Northern Ohio’s health care community, for instance, the environment is increasingly competitive. There are more than 45 hospice providers.
Some are profit-based out-of-state corporations with local satellite operations while others are opening new hospice programs out of their areas of expertise. Some providers are making it challenging for families to choose a collaborative, nonprofit community hospice.
This competitive scenario means consumer advocacy must be woven into your messaging. As you communicate your value, focus not only on the advantages you provide, but also on educating consumers that education and choice are their rights.
Beyond communicating benefits to customers, sharing the differentiating essence of an organization inspires and aligns the frontline ambassadors who support it.
In the case of Hospice of the Western Reserve, collaborative partners include regional health care, academic, business and organizational leaders who sit on our advisory councils; physicians and other referral sources; as well as donors, volunteers, employees and families who have had experience with our support and care. These families are frequently among our most passionate word-of-mouth advocates.
Accurately defining and communicating the unique qualities your organization delivers empowers all of the stakeholders aligned with your business to paint a clear and compelling picture to those who are in need of your services. ●
William E. Finn is president and CEO at Hospice of the Western Reserve