Unique sales proposal – The foundation of a successful business

Most companies have guiding principles that outline their reason for being. Many have spent untold hours developing their ‘MVV’ – mission, vision and values. It’s important to be clear about this, but the reality is that your prospects aren’t paying attention.

Most consist of empty buzzwords like “market leader” or “doing business with the highest ethical standards.” That’s all well and good, and your MVV can be used as an internal rallying cry to align employees around a common vision.

But there’s something missing here, and it’s a special message to your marketplace. It is driven by the answer to this question:

“Why should I do business with you as opposed to anyone else, including doing nothing?”

This may be the most important question you can ask yourself as an entrepreneur, but far too many cannot provide an adequate answer.

Answering this question creates one of your company’s most powerful assets: your unique sales proposal (USP). Once identified, it is the anchor of your marketing and outreach efforts as it truly responds to the needs of your market.

Clarifying your USP shifts the focus from yourself to your customer. Your primary message is no longer about how long you’ve been in business, or whether you’re family-owned, or whether you offer high-quality products.

None of that resonates with prospects.

Your market only wants to know one thing: what’s in it for them?

What makes a good USP?

A good USP is completely tailored to the needs of your market and how you are uniquely positioned to meet those needs. It shifts your marketing message from talking about yourself to talking about what you can do for your customers. This is a powerful shift and makes selling your services a lot easier.

It also gives all employees clarity on what to emphasize when talking to customers and prospects. Confusion drives customers away. A unified message to the market – from all employees – will provide clarity and make it easier for prospects to do business with you.

What does a USP consist of?

You need to think about a few key features to create an effective unique selling proposition. Among which:

  • Focused on benefits as much as possible
  • Specific and not overly generic
  • Fill a void in the market that others are not addressing
  • Able to deliver on the promise realistically

They are all essential for developing a USP. For most business owners, thinking through these questions will reveal a lot about the nature of your business and how you compare to your competitors.

When defining your USP, be sure to answer the following questions:

  • Why should people do business with you and not someone else?
  • Why do people buy from you?
  • If they don’t buy from you, why should they?
  • What do you offer that is different from all the others on the market?
  • Complete the sentence: “My company is the only company that…”
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Famous USPs

One of the most popular USPs was Domino’s Pizza: “Hot fresh pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.” This is a powerful USP and meets all of the above criteria – it focuses on benefits, fills a void in the market and resonates strongly with the target market.

Geico Insurance: “15 minutes will save you 15% or more on your car insurance.” This USP is direct, simple and very specific and the market is responding well to it.

Bottom Line

I hope you can see the power of a well-articulated USP. It forces you to be innovative and provide something of value to your marketplace that no one offers. This is not only good for the customer, but also for the long-term health of your business.

It’s important to realize that there is a specific way to create your USP, and if you don’t follow this methodology, you’re probably going in circles and spending way too much resources developing your USP. You need input from your employees, your marketplace, a competition survey and more. Consider getting outside help before diving into this process.