In the past we’ve talked about standing out from your competition. In fact, every time you go to a seminar or conference on increasing your business, the speaker will lead off with “What Is Your Unique Value Proposition”?
Not to beat it to death, but with so much competition in your local market, coming up with a few words that will stop people in their tracks is absolutely essential.
If you don’t know precisely what it is that sets you apart though, how can you expect your clients or customers to make the distinction and choose your business over those of your competitors?
A unique selling proposition (USP), – I prefer to call it your “Unique Value Proposition” – must, as the name suggests, tell prospective clients and customers precisely what value you offer that the competition doesn’t. It must describe a benefit that is so compelling that your target market will be drawn to your business and no other, but it absolutely must be a genuine proposition that you can deliver on.
Two of my favorites that I always strive to emulate are Fed-Ex’s “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” and the iPods “1,000 songs in your pocket”. Both, in their day, were revolutionary! Both told a whole story in just a few words. When you heard them, you were sold, right then and there.
When deciding on your own USP, remember that it doesn’t necessarily have to be based on a single benefit, but could encompass a unique combination of benefits. It’s not easy to come up with the perfect combination of words, but it’s worth the time to think it through. Ask your friends to help – they see things from a different prospective.