Step Three: Getting Your Unique Selling Proposition Out to the Masses
In previous installments of this series, we first defined the key traits of a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and why it is the essential tool for businesses to grow and survive, even in economic downturns. In “Step One,” we saw how successful brands communicate their USP to spark demand and compete on more than just price, and for “Step Two,” we explained how understanding customers, employees, and competitors is essential to defining a truly unique USP.
The key takeaway so far: if your competition is doing it, then it is not unique. By conducting research, you can identify the aspect(s) that make your business different and how your offerings provide value to your customers that no one else can or currently does.
Now, for “Step Three,” we will discuss how to take what you learned about your business and competitors and integrate it.
Michael Senoff, CEO of Hard to Find Seminars, says, “There’s nothing more fulfilling for a business owner than when you nail the USP. Their business is their passion, and the USP reminds them why they get up every morning and work their butts off all day. Having that USP will give them and their team focus, and after the integration phase, they’ll also have the thrill of watching their business grow exponentially.”
In business, there are three fundamental strategies to grow and survive: generating new leads, converting more leads into sales, and retaining customers by encouraging them to continue doing business for life. Senoff persuasively argues that the problem with many ads and marketing campaigns is they forget two of these three strategies. “All traditional marketing revolves around a business growing in just one way—the attempt to get more prospects. And businesses usually throw a ton of money into that one way too…running ads, building or improving websites, throwing together social media campaigns and pay-per-clicks.” The value of a well-defined, asset-based USP is that it creates growth on three fronts instead of one: it attracts more interested clients, it converts more prospects to clients, and it creates more repeat business.
Senoff discusses the process of integration as a series of logical steps. The first step, of course, is to define and continually refine your USP based on your research. Without it, you have nothing to integrate. The second step involves getting every employee on the same page. Employees in sales should be able to communicate the USP to prospects, your company website and ads should reflect what you have learned, and you should find every opportunity to interact with customers and to hammer your message home. Some opportunities to emphasize your USP message include: invoices, business cards, bidding sessions, and sales presentations. There is a logic behind this order in that by defining the USP and ensuring your employees understand the USP, you avoid wasting time later when searching for new leads. Why would you spend resources trying to identify new customers without a prepared pitch?
By identifying your passion, why you are in business, and what makes you different, you as a business owner are able to feel more confident in your business—and this confidence becomes infectious.
Rather than relying on growth in the economy, rely on your unique, valuable characteristics so that you can sell even during economic downturns by building consumer confidence in your ability to meet a unique demand. You are selling the customer on your business as much as you are selling them on the product or service. Even if a Walmart moves in next door, if you offer something unique that Walmart can’t offer, then you can control your own economy.
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