We wrote a solid article in our Marketing TIPS section about the “Marketing Mix“, a real going back to basics type of article. This article is one that addresses a common theme that I am seeing out there today. Many business owners have no idea what their “USP” is. They get all clammed up at the sound of the question, and sometimes can’t even answer it. Let’s see if I can get you thinking in the right direction. Here is a quote to get us started!
“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” – Seth Godin
What is a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
Plainly put, a “USP” is what separates you from your competition, if your customers don’t have a great reason to buy from you versus your competition, you are essentially competing on price.
Tip#1 – A very simple tip is to take the word “sales” out your vocabulary, and replace it with “educate“. You are not selling your clients, you should be educating them. You must be the one that educates your customers and prospects on what they should be purchasing. You want to be the expert and be known as the best in your field, the one that people “ GO TO ”
It’s not about being or having ” THE BEST”. Even if you have the best price and the best service and the best product, this does not make you unique, this puts you in a position again where you are competing for the price, and unfortunately, there is always someone who can underprice you. “Try to do things, that your competition won’t!”
Yes, I could go into more details, but I think you get the point. You may know this as another term such as “POD” – Point of Difference etc… Ultimately the question we are trying to answer is, “Why should I buy from you?“.
Keep in mind, you don’t need to be extremely different, even a small amount of differentiation could lead to a much greater shot at success.
Key Questions & Things To Help Create or Strengthen Your USP!
Tip#2 – In your journey to discovering your USP, write your thoughts down on paper, read it over, analyze it, memorize it!
Here are some questions that may help!
- What problem is your primary product or service solving?
- What will their life be like once you’ve solved this problem for them?
- What is the single biggest payoff, result or benefit your product or service produces/delivers?
- Name 5-10 things your customers should know before purchasing a product or service like the one you offer?
- Name 5-10 advantages you have against your competition?
- What “market demand” is your business addressing? (A dentist trying to sell motor oil is not the in the right market to fill his demand…)
- What are the “Pain facts” that will help motivate your customer to pay attention? (What will they lose, miss out on or suffer the consequence of if they don’t act now? (More on this below)
Here are a few simple techniques to help differentiate your small business.
- Use your personality – If you’re running a small business, sometimes your personality can make a powerful difference, perhaps people generally like dealing with you.
- Narrow your target audience – Sometimes trying to market to a very large potential market becomes ineffective. Narrow down your target prospects to a point where they have never had a business like yours to cater specifically to them. For example, if you’re in the business of selling homes – you may want to focus exclusively on first-time buyers, and become an expert on working with them.
- Consider the deeper-level buying motive: I will now elaborate a bit on “Pain Facts.” For this, I will borrow a paragraph from a book that I read by a great leader in marketing, Jay Abraham. “You don’t ever go to Home Depot to buy a drill. You go to Home Depot to buy a tool to make a hole… so you can run a wire through your wall, so you can hang your brand new plasma, so you can enjoy watching movies with your family in HD, so your spouse won’t constantly be annoyed by a bunch of ugly cable visible everywhere in the living room…etc…) The TIP here is to write out all the things your product or service will and can do/solve in words.
- Still not sure? Ask your Customers: Your customers can give you great feedback and wisdom nuggets. Here are some things you can try asking: – Why did you to look for a solution today? – How challenging has it been to find exactly what you are looking for? – What would your ideal solution look like?
With help from the questions and techniques above, you should be in a position to develop and WRITE down your Unique Selling Proposition.
Keep in mind…
All this can seem very daunting at first. I’ve seen people, myself included get hung up on the concept of USP for days…weeks… months. The key here is not to do anything rash. Your business won’t crumble to the ground because you don’t have a solid USP, it just means you will have a tougher go at times. Your best move is to start working on ways to refine and morph your business into your USP as you go along.
Below is my USP at the time of writing, although it is still a work in progress, that’s ok! I will give you both some context and my one-liner lol.
My brand “Your Go To Guy’ is the story of my life. For whatever reason, I have always been the guy that people come to for advice, and I’ve always been the guy that comes up with a solution! Today I look for small businesses and start-ups that are in a dire need of marketing assistance, they need a “Go To Guy” (partner) in their business that can get things done and guide, coach and train them in the right path. I’m a flexible & mobile marketing department for businesses that don’t have a marketing department!