Tag Archives: USP


What is a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

You finally get to talk to that Realtor that you have been stalking for months. This is the agent you have been dreaming about, your Moby Dick. If you could only land this one, it will put everything right with the world.

Well Captain Ahab, before you land your own whale, you need the right tools. Although I didn’t remember this in the book; Captain Ahab’s spear was tempered with the blood of his crew. It was a symbol that it wasn’t just Ahab landing the whale, it was a team effort.

Consider the spear as your USP. It’s the first real impression your whale has of you. It’s the answer to the question; “Why should I do business with you?” Miss this one and everything else is irrelevant. So what makes up a good Unique Selling Proposition?

A USP should first answer that that tough question; why do business with you? Most good customers are also very smart and can smell fear… and crap, a mile away. Your USP should not include phrases like; “we have great service” or “we have great pricing”… because when I hear that my first reply is “OK, so do the other 5 guys that called me this morning”.

We are talking about a Unique not a Universal Selling Proposition. If your USP contains words like service or pricing, you are playing the “me too” (following what everyone else has) game. You need to look at what you, or your team, is great at doing, something specific. Terms like service are too broad and you wind up being one of the five other guys that called, not the one your whale chooses to work with.

Your USP needs to say who your target audience is and what you can do for them.  Remember what I said about a team effort, what is your team going to do for them? For example a USP saying: We are a boutique Title Company that helps Realtors with marketing, not advertising, marketing”.

This USP has announced who your target audience is and what you can do for them. Notice that this USP also tries to engage a follow-up question.  When working properly and asked correctly, you typically get 1 of 2 questions in response; What’s the difference? Or how do you do that?

When hear one of those questions, you are off to the races.

Here are two other great examples of OUTSTANDING USP’s.

  • Domino’s Pizza – When they first opened their doors their USP was; Fresh, hot pizza, delivered in 30 minutes or less.  Notice what is missing from the USP? It’s the word GOOD.  They are not saying anything about how good their pizza is. It’s not gourmet pizza, it’s not pizza that is going to impress your friends… they are saying it’s going to be here in 30 minutes or less.

Think about Domino’s first target audience, college kids. In some cases, college kids who are back from the bars or at the very least don’t want to wait to eat. The USP was targeted directly at them. If you want hot pizza fast there was only one place that you would call.

  • FedExWhen it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. Talk about being direct. Use someone else if you don’t care about what you’re sending, but if you want to be sure, you’d better use us.

FedEx was so effective with this USP that the company became a verb. Think about your office for a second. How many times have you heard someone say; I’m going to FedEx it, rather than say I’m going to overnight delivery this package. Most people say they are going to FedEx it, even if they are using a different overnight carrier, talk about an effective USP!

Your USP should be one the first things you develop when creating your marketing strategy. It’s the rally cry of your team. It’s THE one thing that separates you from everyone else in your market. If you can nail it, selling becomes easier, focus becomes more clear, and most importantly your customers understand what you do better than anyone else.