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Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

I've read about this one a lot however I don't see these alot with small businesses? What's the deal? - by Newbie
I've read about this one a lot however I don't see these alot with small businesses? What's the deal?
I can shed some light as a copywriter. The majority of small businesses are founded as providers of a product or service with little regard that they have to be (equally) marketers for that product or service. A family business, for instance, might make outstanding sausage, but concentrate very little on marketing the sausage as outstanding which is a word that can mean identifiably different.

But, in most cases, they know they have to advertise. They can not depend on word-of-mouth alone.

Here's the problem that often occurs. As smaller businesses, they are small or marginal revenue to media advertising companies which include print or broadcast advertising. They simply are not going to get the marketing help from their reps because in most cases the reps that call on small accounts are not expected to do much more than tout their rates and ask for orders. The top reps, who have the ability to design creative marketing strategy are reserved for the big accounts. USP is something they work with everyday. They will work in the clients interest to find that USP and build an ad campaign around it with a commitment in hand from the client. They orchestrate their best on-the-air personalities to deliver the client's message. The newspapers will enlist their most creative artists to graphically illustrate the USP.

Is their an opportunity there for people who sell advertising or marketing services to small businesses? I think so. And it's virtually untapped. When my consulting business was heavily engaged in writing copy and designing presentations, I spoke every chance I could get before small business trade groups. I taught them the concept of the USP. I taught them simple strategies for uncovering their own identifiable differences. For example, write down three reasons why someone should do business with you or your company. I developed solid business relationships and friendships from that activity--along with referrals. The kicker was that as I did that, it became apparent that my willingness to do it was my Unique Selling Proposition. It was like a holograph.

David Cowper has said: "Make information your own!" I made the stuff about USPs my own. - by Gary Boye
I taught them simple strategies for uncovering their own identifiable differences. For example, write down three reasons why someone should do business with you or your company.
Can you point out any good tutorials? - by Mikey
Mikey asked: "Can you point out any good tutorials?"

I cover it briefly in my tutorial on the AIDCA learning model for presentations. If you are looking for a structure on presenting an USP, I think it might be helpful. It's on my web site.

Dan Kennedy's stuff is good. Check out his book, The Ultimate Marketing Plan which is more comprehensive than a simple tutorial. If you are looking for info on how to construct an offer, Jacques Werth's advice is priceless. Check his web site about High Probability Selling. Sun Tzu expert Gary Gagliardi, whose training I teach and adapt for sales coaching, covers USP in The Art of War The Art of Sales. - by Gary Boye
Here's a couple of links on Unique Selling Propositions:
  • USP Debunked!
  • How to Create Your "Unique Selling Proposition" (USP)
- by Jackie
I spoke every chance I could get before small business trade groups. I taught them...
Forgive the "off-topic-ness" of this question, but I am curious, Gary, how did you have opportunities to speak to small business trade groups? Did you find them or did they find you? - by RainMaker
Forgive the "off-topic-ness" of this question, but I am curious, Gary, how did you have opportunities to speak to small business trade groups? Did you find them or did they find you?
We found each other--but it was not as if the trade groups were seeking me as a speaker. Most associations who have regular meetings are looking for guest speakers who can inform their members on new or interesting topics. Through the regular course of conversations, socializing, and networking, I would come in contact with a variety of people from different trades or professions. I made it a point to get introductions or referrals to the officers of the groups and set appointments to introduce myself.

One method I used requires a small investment. I not only expressed an interest in the missions of the organizations, I asked whether they had associate memberships. Associate memberships are often offered to people outside of the trade--a banker, an advertising person, a health specialist, etc. So on a few occasions, I joined the group and became the in-house resource for my particular area of expertise. The members would look to me for help and often hire me for my services. After that, referrals became the heart of my business. One such group not only provided me with a lot of clients, but as a thank you for the service to the organization itself, notified me that my annual membership dues would be waived indefinitly. On a couple occasions they presented me with awards for outstanding service. I was flattered but I almost felt undeserving. I was the one that benefited the most.

You know, it really falls under the heading of another topic that isn't addressed on this forum--"third party marketing". That's off topic too, but if anyone's interested, I'd be happy to share my thoughts as well as get others' takes on thes subject. - by Gary Boye
You know, it really falls under the heading of another topic that isn't addressed on this forum--"third party marketing". That's off topic too, but if anyone's interested, I'd be happy to share my thoughts as well as get others' takes on thes subject.
I'd be interested in hearing more about "third party marketing". What is it exactly? - by Mikey
I'd be interested in hearing more about "third party marketing"
You've got my interest too. :) - by SalesGuy
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