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The Alternative Board Blog

Unique Selling Proposition: When Being Different is the Best Thing

May. 14, 2013 | Posted by The Alternative Board
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Your Unique Selling Proposition

Before you can successfully sell your product or service to someone else, you have to sell yourself on it. This is especially true when you have lots of competition and the need to distinguish yourself.

A unique selling proposition (USP) is a description of the qualities unique to your product or service that differentiate it in a way that compels your customers to buy.

A good USP translates features into benefits. (<--tweet this) It needs to answer the "why should I buy your product over a competitor's?" question from your prospect.

Be unique in your sales proposition!

Many businesses do not have a USP. They continue to exist because of the awareness of their service created by the market leaders and the momentum created. Businesses that want to make an impact need a USP. The great thing about having a truly unique USP is that it gives you the potential to open a new category in an existing brand - where you become the market leader.

Questions to ask when creating a USP:

- What product or service do you offer?

- What is the profile of your buyer?  If you're trying to appeal to everyone, chances are you'll appeal to no one.

- Why do your customers choose you over your competitors?  If you don't know, ask them!

Want additional insight? Download Setting KPIs for Business Success now to learn more

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- If you have features that distinguish your offering, what does the customer value in those features?

A USP is not designed to compete ("we're the best…in our industry") but instead is designed to distinguish you from your competition ("we're the only"). The difficult part of a USP is creating differentiation. There may be a feature of your product or service offering that is indeed different than anyone else's offering.

Even so, it is critical to confirm that your customers understand and value this difference. If you don't have a material feature difference, there are other ways to distinguish your offering: price, quality, exclusivity, the best customer service, or a guarantee that your customers will see results.

One note of caution! The worst thing you can do is claim to have a USP but not deliver on it. If you promote a USP be sure that you and your employees are relentless in delivering on it.

What's your USP? Share it here, and see if it is indeed unique!

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board

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Written by The Alternative Board

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