Your USP Unique Selling Proposition
Why should I buy from you right now, instead of buying anything else from anybody else next week? What can you uniquely guarantee? That’s your USP. If you have a great answer to that question, you can charge more money, have fatter margins, put more money into marketing and advertising, invest more in customer satisfaction and developing new products. If you have a lousy answer to that question, you’re in trouble before you even start. Symptoms of a bad USP: You’re constantly fighting downward price pressure. You battle directly with other people on price and delivery. You feel competitors breathing down your neck. The cost of advertising seems out of reach. You feel defensive about taking up
customers’ time. Nobody really wants to talk to you. You have to knock on lots of doors. If that sounds like you, then there is something you’re not promising, something you’re not guaranteeing or not articulating specifically enough that’s keeping you from being unique and keeping you from making more sales. The pithiest USP I’ve ever seen—this has been running in National Enquirer for about six decades (!): “Corns gone in 5 days or money back.” That simple ad offers a crystal-clear solution to a problem, a specific amount of time, and an “or else” statement. Domino’s Pizza has one of the best-known USPs ever: A fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed. That’s not unusual now, but in the 1970s, it was a blockbuster.
Four Questions Your USP Can and Should Answer 1. Why should I listen to you?
WHAT CAN YOU “MAKE” UNIQUE ABOUT YOU?
- Service. Guaranteed friendliness. Guaranteed delivery. Guaranteed live person on the phone, etc.
- The market you serve is unique, e.g., your focus is businesses with 10 employees or fewer.
- Your product is unique. It has a guaranteed result. It’s tailor-made for X kind of person. Using it is a guaranteed “experience.”
- Your whole “experience” is unique. A cab/limo driver promises hot Starbucks coffee and a morning newspaper waiting for you, and he’ll have you to the airport on time or you don’t pay.
- Your price is unique. It may be a low price (“We’ll beat anyone’s advertised price or your mattress is free!”). It may carry a premium price (see the “Expensive . . . by Design” ad in Robert B. Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion). There are guaranteed add-ons that other competitors don’t offer at your price (or which let you ask a higher price).
- Why should I do business with you instead of anybody and everybody else? 3. What can your product do for me that no other product can do? 4. What can you guarantee me that nobody else can guarantee? You can download a handy three-page USP worksheet and watch a presentation by the president of my company, Bryan Todd, at www. perrymarshall.com/8020supplement/.
Business vs. Personal USP; Current vs. Natural USP What’s your natural USP? So far we’ve been talking about the USP of your company, your product, or your service. If you sell 1,000 products, each product should have its own USP. But you also have a personal unique selling proposition that stands distinct from your current product or business. It’s the inherent groove based on your passion, personality, and experiences that you carry with you at all times. Most people are only vaguely aware of their natural, personal USP. I think one of the biggest wormholes that people get sucked into is, they get so enamored with the romantic version of what somebody else does, the greener pastures, that they ignore the unromantic, plain, everyday genius that they themselves possess. The thing I dislike MOST about being a marketing advisor is that it’s so much harder to get people to focus on their own innate giftedness and natural USP. It’s easier to show people a bright shiny object and manipulate them into jumping on the next short-lived bandwagon than to master something that’s just beginning to flourish. That’s frustrating. It does not serve people or propel them to where they really want to go. I play drums. At a training event called “Fantasy Drum Camp,” and also at a music clinic I attended recently, several world-class musicians all made the exact same remark, independently of each other:
“The thing I hate most about being on tour is __.” How do you think they finished the sentence?
68 8 / Your USP: Unique Selling Proposition
80/20 SALES AND MARKETING
Do they hate being away from their families? Sleeping in hotel rooms? Eating at Taco John’s? Battling the music industry mafia? Making some giant screw-up during a live performance? I figured it would be something like “being trapped on a claustrophobic tour bus.” It wasn’t any of those things. Here’s what it was: “The thing I hate most about being on tour is there’s no time or place to practice. I love to practice.” If you want to be a super-successful marketer: Put yourself in a position where you get paid to practice, even if it’s only a modest amount of money. Practice until your “simple” karate punch—ad writing, making sales presentations, buying traffic, negotiating, whatever you love most—is endowed with incredible force. Learn to love repeating even basic things over and over again until you achieve perfection. Don’t fall in love with bright shiny objects. Fall in love with mastery. What should you master? Some aspect of marketing or sales that you naturally love and excel at—harnessing the natural forces of who you are.
————————————————— PARETO SUMMARY —————————————————— p The most important thing in marketing is a unique selling proposition. p Your business USP is an extension of your personal USP.