Tell Me, Why On Earth Should I Buy From You?
By aul Douglas
Believe it or not, every time you deal with a customer, every time they look at your marketing material, they are all asking this very question. Some will come right out and ask you, if you are lucky. Whereas others, well, they are not so open. You answer their question, congratulations, you just earned the sale. Fail to answer that question, congratulations, you just closed your competitor's sale. And I am willing to bet they won't be sharing their profits/commissions will they?
So, how do you answer their unasked question and win their confidence and close the sale? Easy. Tell them why they should buy from you. Before they even come to see you. This is a powerful marketing strategy you can use. One, I am sure very few if any of your competitor's use. And if they do, chances they are doing so, poorly.
The strategy I am talking about is a strong, hard hitting, compelling USP or Unique Selling Proposition. A USP is the biggest single benefit you offer your clients, that no one else does. And if they do offer that benefit, they are not telling them. A strong, compelling USP can earn their creator a fortune. A weak one will just help your competitor's close more of your sales.
Let's examine a few examples.
Now a carpet cleaner may choose to use...
"Only The Equipment is High Pressure!"
That's a bold statement. It states a huge benefit to the potential client. What benefits does that invoke in your mind? Hmmn, let's see. High pressure equipment, must be real good. No high pressure sales pitches? Absolutely. Do other carpet cleaners use high pressure/high power equipment and avoid high pressure sales tactics? Yes they do. Are those benefits communicated as effectively? Not at all. I consistently outsold my competitors at higher prices with this USP.
Joe Polish owner of Piranha Marketing uses...
"Eat Your Competition Alive!"
That worked on me. I mean what an awesome benefit. Anyone who has seen wildlife footage of Piranha attacking their prey knows how single minded, focused, and relentless the attack is. I mean who wouldn't want to eat their competition alive? Who wouldn't want to steal their competitor's clients? I know I did. I still do. And I don't think you and I are too different. If we were, you wouldn't be this far into this article. So I am sure you would love to Eat Your Competition Alive, as well.
A graphic designer I work with uses this USP...
"If you can define it, we can design it!"
Again another USP using a great benefit. In one short sentence she is telling the world that she can make your vision a reality. Now can other graphic designer's make your vision a reality? Yes I am sure they can. However this designer has told you even before you start doing business together that she will. She has given me the biggest benefit to hiring her services. As a result, we are pre-sold and pre-inclined to do business with her even before we make initial contact. That is what gives her an unfair advantage over her competition.
Okay, now that you know what a USP is, how do you go about creating one?
First of all don't use someone else's. One that is plagiarism. Two it would no longer be unique to you will it? And finally, it could be expensive. You convert all of you marketing materials to use someone else's USP, and then you get a "cease and desist" letter from their attorney's for copyright violation. No, it is better to create your own.
Here is my suggestion. Grab a legal pad and a pen, and write down every single benefit you can think of on it. Write them all down. Do not pre-judge anything. Fill up the pages. Ask some of your best clients for their feedback. Just put down everything that comes to mind on paper. Once that is done, rank your benefits. Find your best, your most powerful benefit. Now write that down. This is the benefit you will create your USP from.
Now comes the fun and exciting part. Condense your best benefit, into a short, clear, concise, benefit statement of five to seven words. And keep working on this statement until you are happy with it. Trust your gut. You will know when you hit the right USP. Your whole body and soul will tell you. The enthusiasm you feel for this statement will well up inside you. You will want to shout it from the rooftops. You want to tell the whole world. Then yes, now you have your own, Unique Selling Proposition.
Remember your USP should not be fluffy or weak. Nor is it a catchy phrase, or jingle. It is the single biggest benefit your clients have in doing business with you. It is said in a big, bold, powerful, statement. It inspires confidence in your prospect's. It pre-sells them to doing business with you. It gives you and unfair advantage over your competition.
Now that you have your USP, use it. Don't keep it a secret. Put your USP on everything your client's see. Make it part of your logo. Add it to all of your marketing materials, invoices, sales receipts, statements, and all correspondence. Brand your USP into your business and your customer's minds. Do that and you will have locked your clients up away from your competition and thrown away they key. That is my promise to you.
About the Author
Paul Douglas is a retired carpet cleaner living with his wife and three dogs in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. His focus now is mentoring new business owners in the area of sales and marketing. Feel free to visit Paul's website at http://www.canada-printing.com
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