What makes you hire a car from a particular firm? Remember Avis’s we try harder and FedEx’s when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight? Each of these is a compellingly unique selling proposition that differentiates their brand and persuades consumers to use them above their competition, because of the convincing guarantee that they imply.
This is the process I follow as a business coach when helping my clients to develop their own unique selling propositions and guarantees in an imaginative, creative way.
- Think in terms of what your customers receive. Nobody is interested in buying quality and service because they have no intrinsic worth. But a car hire firm that tries harder and a shipper who guarantees deadlines – now that is something to talk about. So what makes you different from the firm that does the same thing as you across the street or down the road?
- How is the product or service that you sell unique in terms of customer benefits? How does it solve the problems, frustrations or challenges that your prospects face? A fridge is a fridge but one that auto-defrosts is more than just a fridge, it’s a lifestyle too. All golf coaches are the same, right? No they’re not. The unique selling proposition that guarantees to improve your swing (they all do that, by the way) is the one who gets the business.
- Identify a “pain point’ in your industry. Like sitting for hours in a doctor’s waiting room or having take-outs delivered hours late. Domino’s Pizza got it right when they promised pizza delivered in thirty minutes or it’s free. How’s that for a convincing guarantee? Think laterally, but be prepared to be held to your promise.
- Be specific and make sure you can back up your proposition when asked for proof. Advertisements are sometimes focused internally to inspire staff, but unique propositions are not. They describe what you are already doing, so what makes you special? How come you are still in business? It’s just not good enough when only you know why.
- Distill this all down into a single sentence or better still a short phrase. You must think in terms of output and every word must sell. This is where a business coach can be a useful ally. I have wrestled with paradigms like this before, and I offer independent input.
The job is not over though until you have integrated your unique selling proposition into all your business stationery and advertising materials and done a market launch as well. Convincing guarantees are two-edged swords when out there in the public eye. You’ve just created another role for yourself – you must monitor, monitor and monitor to make sure your firm is sticking to its promise.