Ever go to a prospective client meeting wondering: why would they pick us? If the answer is yes, your company needs to rethink it’s unique selling proposition.
FYI: being a bit more competent, more civilized, or nicer is not a USP!
So how do successful companies distinguish themselves from the competition? They get interested in how to add more value than anyone else.
Great! But how do you add more value without losing sight of your bottom line? Most business owners already work hard enough; working harder usually isn’t the solution. Besides, generally industries have a price-ceiling, which places limits on the resources available to create the product or service.
Let’s try a different approach. Ask yourself: what need brought your clients to you in the first place?
This is a powerful question. It is also, oddly, one that often gets forgotten.
In trying to make their product or service more attractive, many business owners get bogged down in slashing prices, offering freebies, or spending a lot of money on advertising. Think for a minute, though. The last time a business, product or service really blew you away, what impressed you? It probably wasn’t their giant ad, or their price tag which was one dollar cheaper than the competition. Maybe it was the gym that offered complimentary water and towels. Or the grocery store that put out bins for food drive during the holidays. Or the software company that offered free industry-specific best-practices webinars to its clients. There are as many ways to surprise your customers by adding value without drastically affecting your bottom line, but the key do it in the right way.
First, you must identify the need that brought your client to you in the first place. If you own a gym, your clients sign up to have a place to work out. If you own a garage, clients bring their cars for maintenance. If you do people’s taxes, they come to you looking for a financial service. These needs are easy enough to identify.
But behind these surface needs, what’s really important to your clients?
Do they want to lose weight, build muscle, or improve physical performance? Do they have a busy lifestyle and want to get in and out of the gym asap? Maybe they want to prolong the life of their vehicle and reduce running costs. Or to have more money left over at the end of the year.
To offer truly unique service, you must address these
broader needs instead of just serving up specifically what clients come for. If you begin to look at the bigger picture, you will see ways to offer meet your clients needs in unique ways.
A gym owner could offer free nutrition webinars, reduce fitness class times to one hour to help clients save time, or offer complimentary towel and shampoo so users don’t have to drag around a heavy gym bag all day. A garage might find ways to educate their clients on simple ways to prolong the lives of their cars. Or give tips on purchasing new tires. Or insight on negotiating car insurance. An accountant might offer excel templates that help clients plan their budget, or a newsletter that provides updates on tax reforms that will affect the up-coming year. These types of initiatives cost little, but go a long way in creating memorable s
One caveat, though. Taking your clients needs to heart doesn’t mean selling yourself short by giving unsustainable freebies. It also doesn’t mean tiring yourself with extra, unpaid work. Rather, it means setting up sustainable and profitable systems that help your clients reach their broader goals in whatever sphere you’re already serving them. This is what will give your company a true unique selling proposition!