It is important to stand out among competitors and give people a reason to buy from you. At TMT, we teach ten different ways to differentiate your business. You could do any combination of them, but you don’t need all ten; however, you do need a way of differentiating yourself when you’re developing your unique selling proposition. Here are my 4 “musts” for a strong USP to beat out your competitors and close more deals.
The 4 “Musts” For A Strong USP
- Be Unique To You
- Have Meaningful Specifics
- Must Have A Strong Appeal To Your Target Market
- Be Defensible Before They Buy
You don’t want to be different just to be different. That doesn’t make any sense, and you need to be able to protect your USP. Let me share a story with you.
How Having A Great USP Built A Famous Brand
Here is a story about a business that has the best USP that I have ever heard in my life. To this day, the company is still around, so they know something about building a USP. When the company started (an orphan actually started it), he decided he needed to make his way in life. He didn’t have family money and needed a way to put himself through college. So, he starts this little business on the edge of the college campus, knocks on the door, and says, “Hey, would you sell me your business?” One owner was happy to dump it on him. There was no money down; he just took over the business. He slept on cots in the back office, used the shower on campus, and started running this business to put himself through college because, again, he was an orphan. He didn’t have family money. He didn’t have scholarships, and this was his only plan. He recruits a buddy of his, and off they go.
Then, within a few months, he suddenly realizes why the owner was happy to dump it on him. No money down. It was because the business was failing miserably. He was losing money. Bleeding money. His partner in crime, this other student that was going to swap out classes with him and help him run the business, decides, “You know what? It’s not for me. I’m out.” He leaves, and our hero then has to drop out of college to run the business full-time because the debts are piling up. It’s his name on the business and he has to figure it out. One day he came up with a unique selling proposition, and what’s really cool about this unique selling proposition is it hits on all four of these points.
This USP was completely and radically unique. For its time, nobody had ever thought about it. Nobody had ever done it in his business category, and he quickly dominated his area by using this unique selling proposition. He dominated his city, and pretty soon, he became a national brand; and at one point in time, even probably still today, you could stop people at random on the street and ask them to name the business in this category, and almost 90% of them would name his company as the brand. That’s how well he developed his unique selling proposition and grew his business.
I guarantee you know or you’ve heard of this company. The unique selling proposition was this: fresh hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less guaranteed or it’s free – Domino’s Pizza. Based on that unique selling proposition, Tom Monahan built a business empire. His USP was unique to him because there was no other pizza place that was offering that. What is funny, after a while, they had to stop doing it because their competition eventually caught up to it. This happens with all really good unique selling propositions, but it was unique to him, had meaningful specifics, was appealing to his target audience, and was very defensible. It was defensible before you bought because the guarantee was there before you bought, and it strongly appealed to his target market. After all, at the time when he started growing his business, he built all his pizza joints at the edge of college campuses because his target market was university students.
Know What Your Target Audience Wants And Deliver On It
His target audience is college students; they smoke funny stuff, get hungry for carbs, and are incapable of going out and getting any. They want someone who’s going to get carbohydrates to them fast. They don’t care about organic. They don’t care about the special family recipe handed down from generation to generation that is under glass in a hidden drawer somewhere. They don’t care about thin crust. They want the pizza, and then they eat the box it came in. They want carbohydrates. So that’s an example of a really, really strong, unique selling proposition. And guys, as a small MSP, you have the advantage of designing it. Now, the way you’re going to have to design it is you’ve got to define your target market. You’ve got to define your target market and target quality customers; then, you have to define what it is that you need to deliver on that would make them want to do business with you.