Your USP

     USP stands for unique selling proposition. It was explained in a book by Rosser Reeves (Reality in Advertising, 1961). The book is out of print and expensive to find but we have a manual on the topic. USP is closely related to positioning (Trout and Reis), and branding. (Click here to see more on the manual.)

     Your USP is a value that only you offer that makes a promise of a benefit to prospects and motivates them to buy.

     USP stands for unique selling proposition. It was explained in a book by Rosser Reeves (Reality in Advertising, 1961). The book is out of print and expensive to find but we have a manual on the topic. USP is closely related to positioning (Trout and Reis), and branding. (Click here to see more on the manual.)

     Your USP is a value that only you offer that makes a promise of a benefit to prospects and motivates them to buy.

     Positioning was developed in the ’60s and refers to how you are seen in the marketplace by prospects, compared to your competition.

     Branding is the newest term for consultants to sell to clients. (This term has been around for about 20 years.) It tends focus on the image of your brand in the marketplace.

     As you can see, the three terms have much overlap. If you offer unique value and are seen that way in the marketplace, you will develop brand value. For instance, the big consulting companies such as Bain are brands in the marketplace. The point is to differentiate yourself in a way that offers clear value and draws business to you.

     Following is a worksheet to help you focus on what might be your best value to offer prospects. Basically we’re asking the same question in different ways to stimulate your thinking. The question is how are you unique and better for clients. Developing your USP can take days of work. Most consultants never do it. If you do, you’ll have an advantage. (As already mentioned, we have manuals available on USP and branding for those who want more details.

Ways to Position Yourself

•    the type of customers you work with (specialization)
•    your network (who help you get things done)
•    specific type of service
•    how you provide service
•    your special knowledge
•    your image/style
•    other personal thing about you
•    speed
•    “niceness”
•    customer service
•    price

Positioning Statement and Self-Introductions

“I am the only _____________________ who does _____________________ for _____________________ [where or how]

“My clients tell me that… [benefit]…

“I enjoy being a _____________________ because my clients tell me that I … [benefit].

“I help _____________________ do _____________________ .” [This focuses on benefits and causes them to ask what you are.]

©2002 Rick Crandall: rpcrandall@aol.com

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