The old adage about using a Unique Selling Proposition (or USP) has become too confused, vague and honestly so mixed up with everything else that no-one, especially your customers seems to care about it - so what can we do to make your business unique?
A real USP is something powerful, and will bring people in your door with their wallets open - but how do you know if yours is unique and if you don't have one - what should you do?
Remember your USP should be no longer than 10 words (some are as little as 3 words), it should be short, sharp and to the point.
Follow these 6 steps to uncover yours:
1.Brainstorm - ask yourself - what could it be.
This is a necessary step, but not enough alone to solve your problem. You need to be honest with yourself about what you think your USP just might be. Ask yourself a serious question - "Does any of your competition also offer each of your ideas?" If they do, then that's not it, or, do you have a way that you can do it better than them? The big thing to consider is that PRICE is not a USP! So take that off your brainstormed list now!
2.Brainstorm with your people – that's your team and employees.
Truly listen to them, they are your number 1, best resource. I want you to REALLY listen very carefully to what your top salespeople have to say about your products and services. Ask them "what it is that they usually say to disarm objections, to explain how you are the best option?" Because what it is that they say that is usually the last thing that clinches the deal with a prospective client might just well be your USP?
3. Study your competition closely.
Most business owners do not like to recognize how great their competition is at what they do. Because of this they try to stay tough and confident in the face of some hard truths. But you need to do it... SO: Carefully study them and their marketing materials, from front of shop posters to their advertising, social media, car signage, everything they do - why do they do it and is it effective? What do they offer that is above and beyond what you offer? And visa versa–what do you offer that they don’t and can’t? And how do they tell people about it - or don't they tell people?
4. Ask your clients - AND - REALLY LISTEN TO THEIR RESPONSES!
Your existing and past customers are your most valuable resource, next to your front line staff. But I want you to ask them what they think is the thing that makes your service, your products, and your staff special, over the competition? Ask them why they chose you? Ask them why they didn’t choose someone else? Ask them what they would like you to offer (really you really should be doing this on a regular basis anyway)?
5.Articulate your first ideas of what your USP might be.
By now you should have a very strong idea of what makes you special in a way the customer cares about. If you simply realize there is nothing at all, and in that case then... I am surprised you are still in business, and I bet you that you spend a lot of your time competing on price. Am I right?
If you really don’t have any USP, make one. You have a lot of info now from this process. You know what clients care about and what the competition is offering. Create a USP that blows them out of the water.
6.Express your USP really, really clearly. Use the same words that your clients used when they were talking to you about it. Ask your top sales people if that’s the way they would say it to someone. Make it clear, strong and unambiguous.
And that's it - you now have a USP that will make people take notice!
Now, what you need to do is to go put it smack bang front and centre with every single thing that you do.
In a radio ad it will need to be in the first 5 seconds.
On a print ad or poster - at the very top in BOLD.
In your social media - it should be the entire focus of what you are doing.
If you haven't got it at the top - then it needs to be alongside the number one problem that you can solve!
Until next time - keep on selling!