Call it your “Unique Selling Proposition” or your “Elevator Pitch” or any other name that describes the single greatest benefit that you offer your customers; whatever you call it you “got to have one”. Do you have one like Lexus has, “The Pursuit of Perfection”?
Several times a year I bring up the importance of having a USP and I get many comments agreeing with the need to have one. Last week I asked 18 small business owners, in a one- on- one conversation. “What do you do and what makes you stand apart from your competition?” For the most part I received a one or two word answer describing their profession, i.e. attorney, real estate agent, insurance, etc… and not one of the 18 answered the second question.
The following method for creating a USP came from the notes I took several years ago at a business lecture:
The tool is called a Mind Map and it works as follows:
- Take a blank sheet of paper and in the middle of it write down what your business does.
- Now around your center word write all the benefits that your business provides. Don’t try to form a pattern; write down whatever comes to your mind. There is no right or wrong answer to this process.
- The next step involves one of my favorite words, prioritization. From the words (benefits) that your business provides, list them in order from your customer’s point of view with number one being the greatest benefit you offer.
- Take your top two to four benefits and create a single phrase. The phrase is your USP.
I said a 10 day challenge; creating this USP is not a 15 minute project. Tape your paper with what your business does on a wall; better yet, make several copies of that sheet and post it in your office and even your home. For the next week add words as they come to you. You may challenge others in your company to take part in this process; the goal is to have a completed USP by the end of the 10 day period.
The second part of this process is to use your new USP on all your marketing material and in all your verbal presentations. Start by ordering new business cards with your USP proudly displayed. Put it on your web site and make it your answer when anyone asks you what you do. My clients who have accepted this challenge and have developed their USP have seen a change of attitude both in their company and in the response from their target market.
Send me your USP; firstname.lastname@example.org.
I put work clothes on your dreams to make them a reality… Nick J. Petra CFP www.strategicduck.com
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