Marketing Secret #58 What Is An Unique Selling Proposition

“Hi! This is Mr Professional. Normally, Andrea starts out with these secrets, but I had to jump in and start this before she gets going on this things she calls a “Unique Selling Proposition” (USP).

Now, I have to tell you, she got on this subject before, and I was very upset, as were many other people in business.

Andrea has the nerve to share that the reason people do business with us has nothing to do with our knowledge or skills as a professional. And that knowing product technicalities and so on…are not the reasons that people come to do business with us.

I know she is going to be continuing with that line of rubbish of hers, that all our professional knowledge isn’t what makes people buy products/services and refer to us, and make us our huge incomes. As a matter of fact…”

Excuse me, EXCUSE ME, – man, I have to shut Mr Professional up. He’s going to go off on a tangent telling you that I’m going to give you wrong information again. You know, I feel sorry for Mr Professional, because he really wants to do well. And I think he really wants his knowledge, experience and credentials to make a difference. Unfortunately, I can’t accommodate Mr Professional’s wishes, nor can I accommodate yours, if you feel the same way.

Since this is such an important topic, and one which we continue to get feedback on, I’ve figured out that most of you still don’t seem to get it. So, I decided we would devote a long chapter to this most important of topics.

You see, in my mind there’s nothing more important than for you to be able to answer the question that Dan Kennedy poses to all people that he deals with, and tries to teach about marketing. The question is, from a client/customer/patient/prospect’s mind:”

Why should I do business with you, above all other choices I have, including doing nothing, or whatever I am doing now?”

Think about it. Think about that question. If I met you on a plane or sitting next to you on a train going to work, and I said to you, “Hi! What do you do?” What would you answer be? Can you tell me exactly what you do? And can you tell me what you do in such a way that you would get my jaw to drop open and have nothing to else to say expect, “WOW! When can I come in for an appointment?”

Do you really have such a “Unique Selling Proposition”?

Now, I know that we spend time continuously talking to members on the phone about this. We get “Unique Selling Propositions” submitted to us all the time. Unfortunately, most of the “Unique Selling Propositions” fall into the category of what Dan Kennedy calls “slogans.” Really nice things that sound good, but they don’t hit the raw emotional nerves.

For example, we hear things like, “I help people reduce their electricity costs by 50% or more.” “I help people take care of their pets when a sudden crisis occurs.” “I help people protect their most valuable asset – retirement funds.” “I run the most successful restaurant!” “Don’t make a move on your next tyre purchase without me!” “The best service!” “I really put all my experience to work for you!” “Personal design (or tax planning or investing) is my specialty!” And so on.


Now, have you ever heard any of that before? Have you ever said anything like that before?

Now, really, does anyone out there, including Mr Professional, really think that sort of comment is going to create interest in the consumer? Let’s be honest with ourselves. Let’s discuss this issue of a “Unique Selling Proposition,” and how we have to come up with at least one really, really good one, if we have any chance to get to the top of our industry.

We have a member who grossed over $3 million in profits last year in his industry. This year, he’s on track to gross $4 million. (Yes, that’s $4 million profit dollars in his pocket! In what is supposedly one of the toughest markets in the world!)

Now, this guy, when asked what he does, has a very simple statement. I’ll tell you what it is in a few minutes. I won’t tell you what it is now. But I will tell you, that because he has such a powerful “Unique Selling Proposition” in the market he specialises in, and he has built his entire business around this “Unique Selling Proposition”, he has been able to gross more money in a month than most people in this business grow in ten years! (Or more.)

He averages more transactions in a month, than most business owners do all year! And he does this in a truly tough marketplace, in a highly competitive business. I mention him only to emphasise that with a dynamite “Unique Selling Proposition”, and a marketing SYSTEM to capitalise on the USP, the sky is the limit! (He doesn’t have dull slogans, or worn-out power phrases to attract customers. For now, I want you to think about what we’re talking about, and start thinking about your USP!)

And, I want all of you to realise that this guy isn’t any smarter, or more “Professional”, than anyone else. He’s just the best marketer around, and he knows how, with his USP, to make an emotional impact that is so compelling, people line up to let him help them!

(Which also brings up the point that, if you aren’t making as much money as you’d like to be making, it isn’t the economy, or the falling market, or rising interest rates, or the recession, or sceptical people, or your community, or your manager, or anything…but your lack of marketing a USP in a constant, never ending SYSTEM that brings home the bacon!)

When we ask you about your Unique Selling Proposition, I want you to think about the various things you do for people.

And these services you offer must be thought of in terms of benefits. See, talking about features of what you do or products or services you sell is totally uninteresting to the average person, because most people could care less about features.

In addition, everything you tell these potential clients/customers/patients sounds exactly the same. Boring slogans, or worn-out phrases are not going to get somebody to drop their jaw and say, “When can I come in and do business with you?”

You might know a quote that says the Grateful Dead are not the best at what they do…that they are the only ones that do what they do.

“Now you’re finally totally off your rocker! What does this rock band called the Grateful Dead have anything to do with sales and marketing? Man, are you of it or what?”

Well, I’ll tell you, my friend, The Grateful Dead may not have anything to do with marketing, except for the fact they earn $26 million a year (before Jerry died)…so they must be doing something right! Anyway, the real issue is, when people are asked why Deadheads like the Grateful Dead so much, this is the most common response: “The Grateful Dead are not the best at what they do…that they are the only ones that do what they do!”

Now, when you think about this, would somebody make that statement about you? Would one of your customers, one of your clients, one of your patients, somebody, anybody…be able to honestly say that about you, when asked, “What does your business provider do for you?”

Would your client/customer/patient really say, “My business provider is not the best at what he or she does; he or she is the only one who does what he or she does”? (Political correctness is awkward, but necessary, so I apologise for all the “he or she” stuff).

This is a very profound and deep statement, and it takes some time to grasp the importance of this concept.

When you think about it, most industries in Australia could all be described as “same-old, same-old” right?

What you’re taught about what’s important – about what makes people want to do business with you, is so off base and so outside of reality, it’s very sick. And, because of what you’re taught, the majority of you try to find ways to do things that get you to be the best at what you do. Now, I have some sad news for everybody out there, including my friend Mr Professional. Being the best at what you do is not enough.

It’s not even close to enough.

You must be the only one who does what you do!

“Hold it right there. Now you’re telling me that being the best at what I do isn’t enough. I mean come on. How can you sit there and tell us that being the best isn’t enough? I mean, my goodness! I’ve worked so hard to be the best, that I have almost worked myself into a state of nervous breakdown, and now you’re telling me that the work and effort I have put into being the best still isn’t good enough. Aren’t you ever satisfied?”

Well, Mr Professional, I have to tell you that, number one, it makes absolutely no difference to me whether I am satisfied or dissatisfied with your effort…or whatever you think you are, or aren’t the best…or whether you think being the best is, or isn’t, good enough.

No, what I think is irrelevant. Just as what your spouse thinks, or your manager thinks, or your company thinks, is irrelevant. The only thing that matters if what the public thinks!

To be honest with you, the public couldn’t care less about how we think of ourselves or how we describe ourselves as being the best, or even if we really are the best. No, it matters only that you are so good, and so far above the competition in the products and services that you offer, that you are thought of in the consumer’s mind as being the only one that does what you do.

Now, I know a lot of you get aggravated when I talk like this.

You say, “Well, what are we supposed to do? My gosh, we’re selling…I mean how many ways can you sell…to create a thing where you are the only one that does what you do? I mean there are literally over a million people selling out there. How can we be the only one that does what we do?

I understand these thoughts. I know why you think them.

But the reality is, what you sell, and the fact that you all sell the same products or services to people is not the issue. Because selling a product or service is not what you do.

Service to your clients/customers/patients, providing advice and help and assistance, is what you do. The products or services you sell are how you make your money.

There’s a huge difference between those two thoughts. As a matter of fact, the difference is as wide as the Grand Canyon, when it comes to getting people to feel that you are not the best at what you do, but that you are the only one who does what you do.

Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich, describes 17 principles of success. One of those principles is the thing he calls “Going The Extra Mile.”

I will tell you in my experience of dealing with all the thousands of you that we have as members, the majority of you don’t go the extra mile.

In fact, you don’t even go an extra foot to provide service for your clients/customers/patients that’s so far and above anything they would have received or even expected…that they will feel that you are not only the best at what you do, but the  only one at what you do!

Do you know what I mean by going the extra mile? I’ll be glad to share that information with you. First, I’m going to relay the results of a contest we held in one of our monthly newsletters, so you can see the results and what I’m talking about.

So, here was the contest: We asked members to submit three things to us:

  1. A description of your “Unique Selling Proposition” that answers the question why should I do business with you above and beyond all other choices I have, including doing nothing or managing as I am now, and,
  2. A list of one or more things that you think you are doing, or should be doing, that define going the extra mile”…and why these things create situations where people think you are the only one who does what you do.
  3. An explanation of why satisfied clients/customers/patients are unlikely to refer, and what you think it takes to get clients/customers/patients and outside professionals, whose products/services relate to yours, to send you unsolicited recommendations!

As you’re thinking about this, let’s talk a little about the issue of providing a service. I know I’ve said this many times before, but it bears continuous repeating, over and over again.



If you aren’t thinking of your business in terms of a service, or you are providing a service, but you’re not making the kind of money you want to, then you need to focus on this issue big time!

Take the definition of “service” for example. The dictionary says it is “assistance or benefit to another.” Notice that it says “assistance or benefit.” Not “Lawns that are lusher and greener than everyone else’s,” or whatever.

This concept is one of the toughest challenges I face in being of “service” to you guys!

In order for me to be of maximum assistance and benefit to you, I have to help you be of maximum assistance and benefit to your clients/customers/patients!

And believe me, this isn’t a walk in the park.

For example, I was on a conference consultation call last month, and all three of the people when I asked them to tell me what they did, described themselves to me in terms of the kinds of products they sold.

This happens every day when we ask you guys to tell us what you do.

And, this problem is all tied up in the larger issue of your USP.

See, if you don’t make a USP part and parcel of every fibre of your marketing being, you won’t get to wherever it is you want to get! If you’re making well over $100K now, and want to get to $250K, or if you’re making $25K, and want to get to $100K. or whatever, you must have at least one (you’re allowed to have many more by the way) USP that knocks people’s socks off!

By the way, another side benefit to having a Unique Selling Proposition that people perceive as being real is that it causes people to feel you’re the only one who does what you do…and leads to a recommendation stream that you will not believe!

Dan Kennedy talks about this in great details in his seminars, and in some of his programs.

See, Dan says that getting recommendations doesn’t come from asking people and bugging them because you’ve sold them a product or service. And it also doesn’t come from having satisfied clients/customers/patients. No, as a matter of fact, having satisfied clients/customers/patients hardly produces any recommendations at all!

Now, Dan says that the average person has fifty-two people in their “sphere of influence.”

And, even if you think, and your clients/customers/patients acknowledge, that you’re doing a great job, we challenge you to tell us truthfully whether you get even one recommendation, per year, for every client/customer/patient you have!

(IMPORTANT DEFINITION! A “recommendation” in my lingo, is not what most of us are taught to believe a “recommendation” is! We’re taught that getting names from someone is getting “recommendations.” See, a real recommendation is when someone comes to you and says something like, “I’d like to do business with you…” THAT, is a real “recommendation”: someone who comes unsolicited because you’re doing a good job, and you’ve produced satisfied clients/customers/patients! Your USP has given you a “recommendation.”)

While we’re talking about this, I’d like to ask you to tell yourself the truth about how many recommendations you get from each client/customer/patient. (Do you really know?)

Are you averaging at least one or more recommendations for every client/customer/patient of yours…doubling your client/customer/patient list with USP “recommendations”?

(Come on, be honest with yourself! Have you really kept track? Do you know if you’re getting at least one recommendation for every client/customer/patient that you have?)

I’ll bet that if you analysed it, you’re maybe getting one recommendation for every four, five, ten, or twenty clients/customers/patients you have, which is why many of you don’t make nearly the kind  of money you could, and should be making!

Getting unsolicited recommendations, because of your “Unique Selling Proposition”, is one of the highest income-producing, and lowest marketing-cost-techniques that we could ever teach you!

We will bug you about this point, because it is the most important marketing and selling issue you’ll ever face.

And, I promise to give you some hard material to use for your own USP’s. I know that I aggravate people sometimes when I don’t give them the USP’s in the first issue of a series on this topic. The reason I don’t, however, is that there is an old saying:

“If I give you a fish, I can feed you for a day. If I teach you how to fish, I can feed you for the rest of your life!”

I don’t mean to irritate anyone. At least not on purpose. I just don’t feel like I’m really helping you if I just hand you answers to the most fundamental, most important issue you have in your business. (Or any business, for that matter!)

If you don’t understand what you do, or you can’t answer the question – “Why should I do business with you, above and beyond any and all other choices I have, including doing nothing?” – with anything other than claiming you’re the biggest or the best, you’re in trouble.

One of the promises we made a few minutes ago was to address how our member uses a USP to generate over $3 million dollars in personal commissions!

Now, before I tell you what it is he says, I have to discuss what he does. Here  it is:

A while back, he decided that he was going to target a specific market, and to understand that market’s psychology so deeply, that he knew the USP would reveal itself to him! And, it did.

See, he chose to only work with people who are truly motivated to make a major investment! (I don’t think I have to explain why he chose this market.) Anyway, the USP he projects makes a DEEP connection to this target market, where it might not make any connection to other groups.

He tells his target audience, “I will save you thousands of dollars by helping you avoid the 11 biggest mistakes people make when investing for retirement…guaranteed!” Not bad, huh?

See, he further points out true horror stories about people who did things themselves, or while using inexperienced “professionals”.

Now, his USP works well in the target market he chose! Does that mean it’s a deficient USP? Hell, no!

What it means is, if he were to choose another target market, he’d have to do the same thing. Study their psychology so DEEPLY, that he would find the USP staring him in the face!

Now as I get into, oh wait, excuse me…Yes? Oh yes, it’s Mr Professional – he’s on the line here – hold on a second.

Hi, Mr Professional, what can I do for you?

“Ok, Andrea, we’ve heard a lot about the idea of USP. But now, I have to be honest with you. I still don’t understand why the services that I offer, being the best around (which, of course, I know and all my competition knows is true)…why isn’t that the basis for a strong USP? Why doesn’t the fact that my services are so awesome that make people want to do business with me? After, all, my superior services should speak for themselves, so to speak!”

Hold on Mr Professional, I have to ask you a question. I know that I’ve asked you this before, but I’m still not satisfied that you’ve given me the best answer. Can you please tell me, if I was a prospect of yours, why I should do business with you? Just very simply and plainly, tell me why I should do business with you? Are your excellent services really all you can say?

“Well, Ms Marketing Woman, you should do business with me because I can offer you the best service and the most up-to-date…”

OK, Mr Professional, that sounds really nice. But one of the things I ask myself after hearing your so-called USP is, “Who Cares?”

You see, one of the things you have to do, whether it’s designing a USP or anything else you might use for marketing…whether it’s a headline or an ad…you have to ask yourself – after making that statement on paper or listening to it on tape – “WHO CARES? The statement that Mr Professional just gave falls into the “who cares” category quite plainly…because basically, anybody who heard that would say, “Who Care?” Those statements, and the thought process that follows, aren’t going to get you to the next level.

Notice the difference between our $3 million dollar guy’s USP and Mr Professional’s?

The biggest difference is that he talks only about his PROSPECT, while Mr Professional talks only about HIMSELF! No one wants to hear about you. All they want to hear about is themselves.

(Just like you do. If I wrote my stuff about me, no one would be reading this because I wouldn’t have any customers! Right?)

Now, let’s take a look at some of the submissions people gave us from the contest I mentioned, and then we’ll see what you think of what they had to say.

1.We have the best computer network system in the country!
2.We make it possible for our customers to get the best prices on tyres they can!|
3.Getting the best price possible for your dream holiday!
4.We advertise products and services more than any other company!
5.Like no one else, we work to help you decorate so you will live in the home of your dreams!
6.I help people make financial transitions as smooth as possible!
7.No one else will care for your pet like we do! Nobody!

Now that you’ve seen these, do any of them ring a bell with you? Do they make you feel compelled to come and do business with the person making the claim?

To feel irresistibly moved to respond to that person?

Do you feel that you have no choice but to contact that person and beg them to do business with you?

I really don’t think so.

I think that when you’re looking at it, all the so-called “USP’s” are basically meaningless slogans.

And they really sound like selfish sales pitches. (Please understand I’m not picking on anyone, or being critical to be mean. I’m trying to illustrate clearly what I think is the single hardest skill I try to teach you guys.)

So now that we’ve talked about the importance of a USP, let’s look at how to develop them!

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