by Tony Vidler
If you want ideal prospects to choose you over any number of other highly qualified professional advisers then you must have the ability to succinctly articulate what makes working with you special. Why should they choose you?
This is often referred to as having a “Unique Selling Proposition”, or USP. While the concept has its detractors there is no doubt that in professional services those who position themselves better through clearly articulating why they are the right choice for certain consumers tend to do get a lot more business than those in “the sea of sameness”.
A good USP is the thing that in a moment makes a potential customer think: “Aha! – I am interested in talking to YOU about this particular issue”.
Being able to have consumers think that is the difference between merely making a living, or making a mint.
So how does one go about defining their USP?
You have to think honestly about what makes you different, and how you deliver value, and then be able to capture that in a simple statement that people can get, or get intrigued by, in moments….it is not a 5 minute job to work out for most people. In fact it is something that you might be constantly thinking about and working on for many many months. Or years.
To get on track with defining your own USP there are just 3 essential questions that you need to be able to answer, as they lead you to the essence of what makes you special, and why somebody should deal with you.
1. What do I really do for the people I work with?
(Note: not what are the mechanics or functions of my job, but what things do I achieve for them)
2. What am I genuinely passionate about (when it comes to my profession)?
(Note: “passionate” is an over-used word, but think about what you would do for no financial reward (if you could), because you genuinely love doing it)
3. How does what I do, and what I am passionate about, combine to make a fantastic difference to another person?
(Note: This is the toughest one to work out – and is the centre, or the essence, of a great USP)
Some good (but not GREAT) examples:
“what makes me unique is my ability to grasp complex technical information REALLY quickly, and provide practical simple solutions straight away that clients can benefit from.”
“what makes me unique is my ability to positively influence people to change their thinking on how their financial future can be, and then help them make it happen the way they want it to.”
“I am great at being able to to stay focused on the end goal for my clients, and to be able to adapt their plan for them as the world changes so they are always on track to achieve their big goals.”
“I am the best in the business at taking complex financial problems onboard, and delivering simple solutions that work for my clients. I make their financial issues easy for them to fix.”
There is a common structure here in articulating the USP. Being able to describe something different about you in comparison to others, focusing then on the key function that you perform better than others, and then translating that into the core benefit for the client.
Simplistically, the formula for a great USP could be described as:
My brilliance + my passion = Your gain
It IS hard distilling all that you know, and all that you can do, into a simple sound-bite that people can grab, and understand, in moments. If you are able to though, you will find that more prospective clients engage you in preference to your competitors.
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