Advice:No USP, No Deal!

By , published on 1st September 2010

So, you’ve got a great service to offer and you’re really good at what you do, but where have all the clients gone?  You’ve paid out good money to place advertisements in a wide range of publications and maybe handed out some flyers or stuck notices up in your local supermarkets, but nothing seems to be hitting the mark.  With so many people coming face to face with your marketing efforts, how come you’re not getting a better response?

One of the biggest mistakes that many professional service business owners make in terms of marketing is working on the assumption that the wider they cast their nets, the more clients they will get in through the door.  Their scattergun attempts to get the word out, however, cost them dearly in a financial sense, but worse still, fail to get results…and for two very good reasons.

  • Unless what you are selling is something which is vital for basic survival, such as water, not everybody is a potential customer.  Obvious I know, but then ask yourself, ‘Why waste time, money and effort on trying to reach people who are never likely to buy?’  To be effective, marketing has, first and foremost, to be relevant, and that means knowing who your target audience is and what their problems are.  Only then can you direct your efforts in ways which will bear fruit.
  • The second reason why your scattergun approach probably isn’t getting results is because it fails to make you stand out.  In a sea of consultants, coaches, trainers or whatever, you are just one small fish, and if you can’t tell your audience why you are different to all the other fish, then they have no reason to choose you over the competition.

Although it might seem entirely counter-intuitive, the fact is that truly effective marketing narrows its focus.  By concentrating on those potential clients who can gain real value from your services and telling them what makes you special, you don’t just become a big fish in a small pond, but the only fish in the pond, or at the very least the only one worth considering.

So, how do you make yourself stand out?  By finding your Unique Selling Proposition or USP.  A USP is that single thing that differentiates you from the competition and it is what makes you the only logical choice in the eyes of clients.  Although it might be based on any of a number of considerations, it expresses clearly what makes you and your business unique, so that instead of just being another run-of-the-mill provider in your field, potential clients can see that you are the only one who truly understands their needs and provides relevant solutions.  It has the ability to change you from a generalist into a specialist, an expert who is actively sought out and who can command much higher prices.

Targeting a relevant and qualified audience and sending out a marketing message that leaves them in no doubt as to what makes you different are absolutely key to successful marketing.  Not only do these two things allow you to cut your marketing costs tremendously, but they ensure that your reputation and your credibility have clients seeking you out instead of the other way around.

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Ford Henderson

About Ford Henderson

Ford Henderson is a client attraction marketing expert. He works with professional service business owners across the UK to help them market their business to get a continuous flow of profitable new clients

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