Do you have a Professional Value Statement?

by | Jul 1, 2022 | Business conversations, Networking, Professional Confidence, Selling

Develop your spoken introduction and your 1-pager that nails what you do and why it matters

By far the biggest area of interest in enquiries from professional services teams is getting help crafting strong professional value statements and building confidence in using them.

Why a ‘professional value statement’?

Your professional value statement consists of a very short statement (preferably one sentence) that sums up what you do, who for, and why it matters. Your statement is most often used in spoken and emailed introductions where you have to get the point of your work across quickly and impactfully. It can also be extended with a 1-page document summarising the key aspects of your work and your credibility in the industry.

Some call it an introduction or an elevator pitch, but a better term is professional value statement, personal value statement, or employee value statement. These more elegant terms point to the need to understand the value that we bring in our work… and this has a far greater impact on building trust with customers and stakeholders than a generic sales pitch!

When everyone in the organisation has a personalised and thoughtfully-crafted go-to statement that they feel authentically speaks to what’s most important about their work, they are much more likely to use it to help build the business.

The process of crafting your professional value statement

While I help people every day to create and use impactful professional value statements, working on my own has been the biggest challenge. It’s so much harder to make ideas clear and succinct to others when they are about you! I have spent countless hours crafting and evolving mine, and I feel that my current statement is able to quickly point to the benefits and direction of my work, which are not otherwise very tangible or easy to pigeon-hole.

One piece of content that leads with my professional value statement and has really assisted in providing a snapshot of my work in email introductions has been my 1-pager capability statement. This is a 1-page .pdf containing:

  • My name and role title
  • A photo of me
  • My professional value statement (1 sentence, highlighted)
  • Key practice areas
  • Key clients
  • Key speaking engagements
  • Contact details.

What you include in your one-pager will be different according to your focus and audience. For some, establishing credibility will be more about listing formal credentials than speaking engagements, for example.

Here is the top fold of my 1-pager, showing my one-sentence professional values statement (this is how I introduce my work in-person, too):

JS value statement

Why does this work? In my professional value statement I state who I work with, on what specific focus area, and what results that work brings. When I use this statement in my introductions, I can almost see the ‘light bulb’ flashing on when people see the importance of getting staff on board with communicating the company brand. It also works because it is short, and uses simple language that anyone can understand, even if they are unused to thinking about branding in this way.

To create a 1-page document to extend your professional value statement takes more work than at first appears. Even though I’ve helped clients with this kind of piece many, many times… creating my own took 4 re-writes, and asking for feedback from several trusted professionals in my network, to ensure there was clarity and impact in the representation of my work. What’s also really hard is keeping it to one page (with very few words on it) – but I’ve learned the hard way that people don’t read multi-page documents just to get to know you!! This document needs to be truly ‘at-a-glance’, accessible information if you want busy people to consider it.

“What’s really hard is keeping it to one page – but people don’t read multi-page documents just to get to know you!”

Whenever I work with teams to develop their professional value statements, we help each other to develop our introductions, checking for clarity and impact. Striking the balance between an easy, human-sounding, natural introduction and one that confidently hits the key points about value is a challenging undertaking. It’s important to keep it brief and use everyday language – and just say what really matters most to the people you serve!