Problem – The Marketplace Is A Jungle And You May Not Have A Blade
Today I sat down with a super talented friend of mine who is rekindling her freelance social media consulting gig. She asked me to help her craft a proposal to a new prospective client who wants to generate leads via social media platforms. What happened next in our conversation represents a big problem in the marketplace.
Her client happens to be a digital printer for physical marketing and communication pieces like door hangers, stickers, labels, etc.
They are a significant business as far as relevance in their vertical.
In the conversation, however, she and I quickly discovered that her soon to be client doesn’t have a USP. A USP would help my friend know the priority of the prospect much easier, therefore giving her something to leverage in her proposal.
This….is more common than not. It is also a factor that could be the difference between niche domination and middle of the pack.
Whether you are an established business or a crazed entrepreneur with an idea, you will always find yourself in a jungle called the marketplace.
The marketplace jetliner is officially full and is still accepting more passengers.
*What this means is that prospects and customers are increasingly bombarded with purchasing options.*
Options are not good when it comes to sales conversions, especially when you aren’t the one providing all of those options. With all the choices out there, you can easily float like driftwood in the business space collecting moss.
You’re not a commodity. Don’t act like one. Don’t perpetuate a commodity message.
Be unique because you can be and should be for your customer/would be customer.
Solution – Make Sure You Have A Unique Selling Proposition
USP = Unique Selling Proposition = Scalpel = Clear Cutting Message That Removes Ambiguity
Special Note: See This Previous Blog Post On Scalpels vs. Swiss Army Knife Marketing
This a mechete that you can use to clear out all of vines and kudzu standing between your business and uniqueness…purple cow type stuff if you’re familiar with Seth Godin’s book.
Prospects and customers in your industry already have a hard time making decisions on which vendor to go with, partly because the marketplace is terrible at being unique. Therefore, it is your job to help them with that decision by making it easier with a USP.
Your USP is a statement(maybe even a way of doing things) that should be obvious, memorable and clear. That’s why it is called “unique”.
There are MANY marketers and businesses out there right this second, maybe even it’s you, that do not have a USP. They are simply doing what the next guy is doing hoping that conversions will happen.
I can assure you, the work you put into crafting a good USP is $10,000 an hour type work. It’s the kind of activity that will create results.
You have an opportunity to immediately separate yourself from the rest just by creating a killer USP.
Three Questions To Ask When Crafting Your Unique Selling Proposition
- Why should I spend my money with you instead of the other guy?
- What can your product/service do for me that is different than others?
- What kind of promise can you make to me that others are not willing to make?
Some USP possible examples in no particular order:
- We keep your lawn green, clean and trim 365 days a year so you can do more than your neighbor can do stuck on their mower.
- We provide small business loans with the least amount of paperwork at the highest level of enjoyment so you can create results for your company.
- We are the only dry cleaner in the ti-city area that delivers to your door after regular business hours.
- We provide software for businesses with 50 employees or less.
Some popular USP’s from the real world:
- Infusionsoft – “Small business sales and marketing software. Get organized. Grow Sales. Save Time.”
- M & M’s – “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hands.”
- Papa John’s – Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.
- AVIS – “We’re number two. We try harder.”
Sometimes, USP’s Are The Way You Do Things, Not Just Words
One of my favorite examples of this can be found at Mast Brothers Chocolate Makers:
These guys make chocolate. Chocolate. Not gold blocks. Not picks or shovels. Not electronic gadgets. Chocolate.
But, they literally make every bar themselves and package every bar themselves. They even travel on wooden sailboats like the 18th century to other countries to find the cocoa beans they use to craft the chocolate. They find the cocoa and then ship it back on wooden sailboats.
The story of how they do what they do and why they do it is the unique selling proposition. People buy that story, not the chocolate.
By the way, the average price of their chocolate bar is $40. They do well.
Do you have a USP? Want to create one? Leave yours in the comment section if you want to work on it together.