Your unique selling proposition (USP) is truly the mojo of your business! Here is why do you need to know yours:
A USP is something every business has – it is how it initially got into business and has been successful in its industry. Ultimately, a USP is a business’s competitive edge over its competition and what makes it rock in their industry.
According to Entrepreneur.com, a unique selling proposition is: The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition (http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/unique-selling-proposition-usp)
You Unique Selling Proposition
Defining what your USP is can be extremely challenging for businesses, especially when trying to put it into words. However, getting the words out is very important as it helps you and your team sell your product or service in a clear way that makes sense to your target audience. When you can clearly articulate your USP, your clients will see what makes your business different from the competition, making their purchasing decision easier.
Identifying your USP requires a bit of soul searching and thinking outside the box. When I was determining my own USP, I started out by creating long lists, erasing/scratching things out and consulting people around me. So in this process, I highly recommend you starting with a whiteboard, markers, post-it notes and a dry eraser. The whiteboard is great because you can easily brainstorm ideas on it, scratch things out, draw arrows where you need and erase/replace things with ease. Also, I loved post-it notes because I could write key ideas on them and move them around the whiteboard as I needed.
How To Find It
I found consulting external sources in the process was very important when I worked on my USP. External sources are clients, subcontractors, close business colleagues and mentors whom I trusted for guidance. The responses gave me an entirely different perspective on my company. I asked people what words they would use to describe my business, what they think makes my business stand out from similar marketing firms. I also boldly asked clients why they chose “The Marketing Girl” over other marketing firms and the responses to this question were very enlightening.
I have scoured the internet looking for a step by step guide to defining a USP and of all the ones I came across, I found the process on http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/unique-selling-proposition-usp to be the most straight forward, easy to follow and produce effective results. The basis of the process is as follows with a great explanation of each stage when you follow the link above:
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
- Know what motivates your customers’ behavior and buying decisions.
- Uncover the real reasons customers buy your product instead of a competitor’s.
- MY ADDITION: Consult external sources and ask them: 1) What words they would use to describe your business? 2) What makes your business stand out from others in the industry? 3) Why did they choose you over other companies?
One last resource I will leave you with is a blog post from a Twitter colleague of mine who rocks at sales and providing great insight into sales. (I have no shares in his company, I swear! I just think he is a true expert in his field and knows what he is talking about!). Bill Semmel, CEO of Phoenix One, wrote a blog post on “Unique Value Proposition” which is similar term to your USP. Marketers like to use fancy terms. ? In the blog post, he provides great perspective on your USP from a sales point of view and suggestions when factoring your customers’ perspective. Give it a read: http://phoenixonesales.com/insight-unique-value-proposition/
Photo credit: betsyweber / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)