Today we must differentiate or die.
Therefore, being Unique in some way, in your business or life, is critical; not just to your success, but to your survival. Defining your Unique Selling Proposition is vital.
Being Unique answers this question that someone will be asking:
Why should I _____ with you?
You can fill in the blank with any of the following:
- do business
- go on a date
- be friends
- work on this project
- be in a relationship
You can see how this can expand, such as
- Why should I hire you?
- Why should I give you my money?
- Why should I listen to you?
While there are some very basic characteristics we need to have that are a prerequisite for a person answering yes to those questions, the final decision of yes or no relates to your uniqueness, or a package of characteristics that make you, you.
For example, I recently ran out of propel mix for my workout drink. I decided to buy it from Amazon. Why? It was easy, fast, low price, I didn’t have to make a special trip to the store, I will get it in a couple of days, and it’s convenient.
But what if I needed it that morning? Amazon wouldn’t work. I’d have to go to Target. So that local brick-and-mortar location has a very important characteristic Amazon doesn’t have: immediate access to what I want.
In this example, Both Amazon and Target have uniqueness, but the uniqueness may or may not apply to me.
And that’s where you have to relate your uniqueness to your ideal client profile (or your ideal employer, your ideal mate, your ideal friend, your ideal church, etc.) Because once they match up, a relationship starts, and then the magic can happen, all the way from a customer buying, to you getting hired, or even to you getting married!
Furthermore, once you STOP being unique, the door becomes open for the other part of the relationship to “shop around”. And then the price war happens, which you don’t want.
Because nobody wins.
OK, let’s turn to business exclusively.
Applying the Unique Selling Proposition to Business
Prospective customers will always ask themselves three questions:
- What does this mean to me?
- Why should I buy this product or service over all the others being offered?
- Why should I buy it from you?
Key #1: Uniqueness should be in every part of our business.
We’ve seen that to avoid a price war, we must be unique.
Therefore, our goal needs to be to achieve uniqueness in as many aspects of our business as possible: ourselves, our systems and processes, our marketing, and our people that run our business. Those will give us advantages over our competitors that we can then leverage to shore up areas that aren’t as unique.
For example, when a competitor can offer lower prices, our people can figure out how to morph our product to lower our own cost and to create additional benefits that ensure we’re a better choice.
Key #2: Creating, Developing, and Sustaining your Uniqueness never stops.
Apple used to have the only smartphone. They were unique. But companies soon came out with competing products, and if Apple hadn’t innovated and continued (remember, creating, developing, and sustaining uniqueness never stops) to nurture their uniqueness, they’d have lost the business.
So you must offer solutions in your products or services that no one else is offering for your market, and your market and ideal clients must value those things.
Continually ask yourself the questions stated earlier: “What does this mean to me?”, “Why should I buy this product or service over all the others being offered?”, and “Why should I buy it from you?”
Your answers cannot be generic such as “We have better quality” or “We provide the best service.” Because if you ask your competitors the same question, they can probably answer the same way.
You’ve got to have some empathy and put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client. What is it about your business that will hit their emotional hot buttons?
And as you do this, emphasize benefits, not features.
Part of my personal uniqueness is my engineering background in a semiconductor company, where we were rigorous with process (we had to be to avoid million dollar mistakes). I’ve applied it to my website business, where I’m continually evolving my process to where it’s over 100 individual steps to give the client confidence that
- we know what we’re doing
- the end product will satisfy their needs
- we’ll keep them informed every step of the way
- we’ll be thinking of things that will help their business that they haven’t hardly considered before.
Key #3: Your uniqueness must be present in your marketing materials.
Yes, all of your marketing materials. Front and center, so that it matches up with your ideal client.
If your market isn’t aware of the uniqueness you have, what good is that uniqueness?
And it almost goes without saying that your Unique Selling Proposition must be present in your website.
And in your elevator pitch.
And in the minds of the members of your organization.
Thus, you must constantly be educating not just the market, but all of those around you.
Defining Your Unique Selling Proposition
There are four steps to define your Unique Selling Proposition, which we elaborate on in our white paper that you can get here. They are
- Define the term the way it makes sense to you
- Write down what YOU think is unique about what you do
- Go talk to those around you
- Write it up
- Rinse and repeat
I hope you’ll get my free whitepaper for more details on these steps.