Think about what you sell, whether a product or a service. Tell me, what is it about the product or service that you sell that is truly unique and better than anyone else’s?

Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be completely unique, but there has to be something about how you present it to your customers that makes it seem unique. How do you really bring value to the table. A question I like to ask is “why should I buy this from you rather than your competitor?” If you can’t give me a good reason, a reason that I perceive as a benefit to me, then why should I buy from you? Remember, the customer cares most about themselves, not you.

Your “Unique Selling Proposition” or USP is what differentiates you from your competitors. During these difficult times in the marketplace you will need to take the time to rediscover, or develop for the first time, your USP. Without it, your business may not succeed. If you are unsure how to do this or are struggling, get some help, but get it done!

Now once you have your USP the next thing you must do is emphasize it in your marketing. You have to communicate it to your customers if you want them to do business with you. It must be the centerpiece of your marketing efforts. It’s what sets you apart from the competition and tells the customer why they will benefit from doing business with you.

Your USP must translate into a BENEFIT for your customers. Customers don’t want to know about all the features of your product or service. What they really want to know is what the BENEFIT is to them. I’m trying to emphasize here that benefits are what sells products and services. People buy what they perceive to be a benefit that meets a desire they have.

Let’s say I was looking to buy a mattress. The salesman could emphasize all the special construction features, the materials that comprise the mattress, the quality of the build, and the warranty. That may be useful but it doesn’t sell the mattress. When I bought my last mattress, the salesman stressed to me all the other customers that bought it and their reports of a more comfortable nights sleep. You see, I wasn’t in the market for a mattress, I was in the market for a good nights sleep. The salesman was wise and understood that!

In difficult times you must go back to the basics of marketing. Do so and your business will thrive!


by Steven Schlagel