What's your USP? Don't know, or worse still, you've never heard of it. USP is an acronym for Unique Selling ... It's vital for every business to identify its inherent USP or if it can't ident
What's your USP? Don't know, or worse still, you've never heard of it.
USP is an acronym for Unique Selling Proposition. It's vital for every business to identify its inherent USP or if it can't identify it, to create it.
If yours is a firm that sells gold coated widgets and there are NO other firms selling the same product, then you need not worry about your USP - you have one by default. The default being that you have a market monopoly.
Provided the product is in demand, you can charge just about any price you like and you have no worries with competition. Your product is unique - that's your USP.
But say your business is installing airconditioners and there are six other firms doing the same thing in your region. What's your USP? This is where it gets difficult.
You don't have an inherent USP, so you need to create it. If the other firms provide the same range of airconditioners and prices are reasonably comparable, then you need to do one or more of the following:
.Reduce or increase your prices .Provide better service .Add value to your products or service
Reducing your price is usually unacceptable as is increasing your price, although with the latter, you may decide to specialise in a higher cost product and look for a niche market with larger amounts of disposable income eg, Baby Boomers.
Alternatively, you may decide to focus on commercial airconditioning installation.
While it's not always easy to juggle prices and product range - after all, there are only so many different brands of airconditioner - providing better service and adding value to your products or services presents numerous opportunities. Let's consider a few.
Here's an example of an experience I had where a firm added value to it's product. Although it happened many years ago, it is still relevant. My wife and I had our first child and realised within days that our old twin tub washing machine wouldn't be much use washing dozens of nappies every week, so we invested in a Hoover automatic top loading machine. When it was delivered, the delivery man unpacked it, set it up in our laundry and then gave us a demonstration on how to work it.
We were astonished. We had expected it would have just been dropped off and it would be up to us to unpack, set it up and work out how to use it. That was the best service we had ever received - anywhere! And it got better.
About a week later the firm telephoned us to make sure everything was working just fine and assured us that if we had any questions, problems etc, we could contact them at any time. We were again astonished. I wrote to the manager and told him/her how pleased we were with our purchase and associated service.
Sadly, in the ensuing 28 years we have had few other similar experiences.
If you sell goods or services and you want to stand out against your competitors and increase your profit, identify or create your USP and make it central to your organisational ethos.
Your USP need not be expensive, elaborate or resource intensive. The idea is to find a USP that is very low cost, but has high customer acceptance. What do you want as a customer? Do you want to be treated politely; as though your custom is really valued? Do you want a free pen? Would you like the sales people to keep in touch?
Whatever you want, your customers want the same. Find what you can do to make your customer service special, add value, or both in some small way. Then integrate it into your everyday operations and you're on your way.
If you choose a USP that includes keeping in touch eg, sending a reminder that a car is due for service, a dog due for immunisation, it will help you generate ongoing business and loyalty.
Don't forget that you will also need to update, change or refocus your USP. After a while it will become so common that people won't see it as being special ... the reason they deal with you. Hopefully, by then they will be so accustomed to doing business with you, they will stay for good.
Robin Henry is a human resources and development specialist and Internet marketer whose firm, Desert Wave Enterprises, helps individuals and businesses improve their performance by personal development and working smarter. Visit DWAVE at http://www.dwave.com.au