Article 4 – Using a U.S.P. to Differentiate You

This is one article in a series. For the entire series on one page, please see Proven Enterprise Sales Process, Steps 1 to 10 inside this site's Blog Articles pages.

Excellence Essentials, 2016

As you plan your enterprise sale, you've figured out who to talk to (see Sales and Service Excellence XX/YY/ZZ Page A.) You know that you want to focus on the benefit at the individual customer sees it. How do you get the conversation started? As always, it starts with taking the customer's viewpoint and working from there.

Talking about ourselves is easy and fun. However, it is often uninteresting to others. Have you ever been subjected to the
"Enough about you, lets get back to me syndrome?"
by a salesperson? Did it make you want to jump up and buy?

Plan to Be the Person Who Usually Gets the Next Meeting

The key to adding more value (and margin) to an enterprise sale is to earn the position of the person whom your contact wants to see. She or he will get hundreds of meeting requests. Who gets selected? The people who can help this influencer add value to the business. You can start being that person in the first serious conversation. You can use a Unique Selling Proposition (U.S.P.) to do this.

U.S.P.s are short (between three words and two sentences) statements that highlight the benefit of working with you. Following the Benefit first model (Sales and Service Excellence XX/YY/ZZ, Page A) good USPs lead with the focus on your customer. A good U.S.P. does not talk about you. It talks about your customer.

*The best U.S.P.s earn you the right to continue with your customer. They set the stage to ask for and get the next meetings.*

Want some examples? Look at the business advertisements in this morning's Wall Street Journal. Most of them talk about the vendor. A few, however, reach straight out to the reader. The same is true with slogans. Consider two that worked:
"When you need it absolutely, positively, overnight."
"30 minutes or it's free."

These two U.S.P.s do several things correctly. At the time they appeared, they clearly differentiated the supplier from the postal service and parcel companies. More important, they talk about the user's needs, not the vendor's features. Both focus on solving a problem for "you" instead of talking about how Federal Express or Domino's Pizza gets it done.

After all, are you buying a pizza company or a hot pizza? Is the value to you the delivery method or a package delivered on time? These USPs lead with the benefit, not features. You can craft the same kind of U.S.P. and do it for each key influencer in the enterprise. It starts with assuming that you will ask your contact to share what is important to her or him.

Starting Your U.S.P.

To create a U.S.P. that really works, start with the problem. Then provide the solution. One way to start is to say, "You know how . . ." Then describe the problem in a few words. This is your problem statement.

Now resolve it with, "Well, we help you to . . . ," and describe what your prospect gets. Not what he or she does, or what you do. *Describe what value he or she will get from your service.*

For example: "You know how hard it is to get a hot pizza delivered? Well we'll get it to you hot in 30 minutes or it is free."
"You know how hard it is to get a consistently great return on your money? Well you can get access to tools to help you get the best possible return for your exact situation."

Notice that the two U.S.P.s do not explain the how. They only explain the what. Only when you get a buy-in to that do you earn the right to move on to the how. Your key influencers in the enterprise are under pressure. Help them out, lead with the benefit and save the feature and function for a more relaxed time. Start with understanding the problem, not the solution.

You are much more likely to get paid well to solve a problem if your customer thinks you really do understand it. Invest your time in understanding the enterprise problem as that influencer sees it. Then they will want to become the sponsor for whom you are looking.

Next: Using Success Criteria to Speed Enterprise Sales

(For more on U.S.P.s, take a look at Successfully Sell Your Services Over the Internet from Potentials in Marketing)

Originally commissioned by and published in Excellence Essentials, Copyright 2016 by the Meyer Group, all rights reserved. To redistribute, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.