How to Discover What the Customer Values

Have you ever asked yourself, “Well, So What?”The Eye of the Customer

Struggling with statements of value for your product/service features?  Do the attributes that make you unique make prospects yawn?  Does your effort to turn every feature into a benefit fall flat?

There is an answer. So what!

That’s it, the “so what” exercise. Often best done with a friend, divide a piece of paper in half in portrait format (the small ends folded to the middle). On the left side, head a column Unique and Special Stuff. Then, in this column, list all the unique attributes of your product/service and every feature you think is important.

On the right side, head the column “So What?”  With your friend, read aloud the first item on the left column. Your friend then asks, “Well, so what!” (Say it with an attitude:  It helps.)The So What worksheet

Your task is to answer that question. Probably, your first answer will be greeted with “so what” but continue on until your friend says, “that’s it!” That’s the value statement for that!

Write that value statement on the right side of the paper opposite the feature/attribute to which it applies.

What happens when you cannot articulate a useful answer to the “so what?”  If you cannot find a value statement, then you should not be talking about that particular attribute or product feature.  Consider this feature a specification that should be listed on the Product Specs sheet, but not used in the literature or sales talk.

People do not want to be sold:  they do want to buy.

Using the “so what” tool will help you craft value-laden messages.

When you talk value solutions to their business pain or problems, you talk in the customer’s language, not your own.


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