“Look at us! We’re unique!” “We’re different!” “We’re special!”
When most people claim this about their business, it’s empty, hollow, worthless drivel!
So let’s once again remove the rhetoric and reinforce the reality!
Despite popular belief, sales, marketing and business-development are not characterized by manipulation or magic. They require hard work, a sustained effort and the sincere desire to help others.
Customers, clients and prospects, rely upon you to deliver to them a more favorable future. This, is the driving force influencing all buying and investment decisions.
However, it has become a lot tougher to attain success, in our competitive marketplace. All too often, businesspeople and companies try to distinguish themselves through bland and generic statements like lowest prices, great service, superior quality, top-of-the-line and new and improved.
Such boastful claims are meaningless. They don’t tell a prospective customer how low your prices are, how great your service is, the extent of your quality, what top-of-the-line really means, or what you did to become “new and improved.”
Generalized statements don’t allow others to perceive you and your products or services as unique or different. Without inherent drama or uniqueness, you and your product are relegated to a commodity perception.
What makes you different?
You must continually concentrate on your uniqueness or differential competitive advantage. A great way to do this, is by developing your USP or Unique Selling Proposition. Your USP helps you rise above the clutter of other competitive sales, marketing and service messages.
An example of a USP might be a pizza parlor that assures delivery within 30 minutes. And if they’re late, your pizza is free. Sound familiar? With that initial USP, Domino’s built a fortune.
What is Domino’s really marketing? It’s not pizza. It’s speed. Domino’s lets you know, that if you want a deep-dish, gourmet style pizza, they aren’t the folks to call. But if you’re hungry and need a hot pie fast, they’re the only pizza place to dial.
Here are two more creative and effective USPs:
1. I spotted this one in a print ad, for an eye-care medical treatment center. The headline read; “If your vision is not measurably improved after cataract surgery, charges for your surgery, will be refunded!”
2. A California accounting firm provides this assurance to their clients, “We guarantee you 10-day turnaround (after receipt of information) on your tax return. If we don’t make our deadline, we pay you $50 per day, for each day that we’re late.”
Five steps to create your USP!
First, make a proposition to each customer, who buys your product or service, that he or she receives a specific benefit or benefits.
Second, the proposition must be one your competition cannot, or does not offer. It must be unique, either in the brand, product, service or claim.
Third, the proposition must be strong enough to move the masses or attract new customers to you, your people and product or service.
Fourth, your USP can be how your business is operated; how your product is developed, manufactured or marketed; or elements that go into your product or service that are of significantly higher quality, value or durability than your competitors.
Fifth, your USP can even highlight or be something your competitors have, but they have failed to explain it or make it known to their or your customers. Therefore, the first company to define their unique benefit, process or procedure and educate their customers, takes a unique, powerful and profitable pre-emptive advantage.
To pre-empt means to replace or to do-away with. Therefore, even if your product or service offers, or has the same thing as a competitor’s, guess what, if you’re the first one to tell the marketplace, you now have a unique and profitable pre-emptive advantage. You’re the leader. And even if your competitors now claim they too can offer these benefits, the marketplace perceives them as followers.
Remember, what you perceive about your business as being ho-hum or ordinary, might present a pre-emptive advantage the world will marvel at, respond to and invest in. The key, is to take advantage of the advantage, first, before your competitors. Because when you do, you can attain, unique, exclusive and lasting profitability.
Next time, I’ll reveal my unique selling proposition and share a series of questions to help you develop your USP.
Jeff Blackman is a speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer who lives part-time on Marco Island. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” Send an e-mail to email@example.com or go to jeffblackman.com to subscribe to his free e-letter.