Tip #4 on How to Develop a Strong USP – Unique Selling Proposition: Cop an Attitude

One way to be on the cutting edge is to have an edge.

For example, Michael Jordan swished a 20 foot shot at a Chicago Bulls practice . Coach Phil Jackson called him over, exasperated because he thought Michael was hogging the ball. He said, “C’mon Michael. You had a teammate under the basket. Why didn’t you pass him the ball? You know, there’s no I in team.”

“Yeah,” said Michael, grinning. “But there is in win!”

Review your communication to clients – including your website, marketing brochures and sales presentations. Do they have common phrasing? If so, they could elicit a yawn; or worse, a groan.

Predictability is boring. If you’re using cliche’s in your sales material such as “It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice,” or “The customer is always right,” people will conclude you don’t have anything new to offer. They’ll tune out and move on.

Don’t be afraid to cop an attitude. I was supporting a client at an Investors Circle event today. One of the best pitches was from a company called Better World Club – the first “green” auto roadside assistance company (trying to get a piece of AAA’s $25 billion in revenue). Their edgy newsletter is Kiss My Asphalt. Aother tagline is “Improve Your Car-ma.” Their fresh approach helped win buy-in from everyone in the room.

Look at your business communication. Does it have an attitude? An edge? People will be pleasantly surprised and more likely to pay attention if they don’t know what’s coming next.

Other examples of strong USP’s include Avon’s campaign for fighting breast cancer, “Good things come to those who . . . walk.” The clever slogan for Economist magazine is “Great minds like a think.” Jack McShane calls his lawn-mowing business Weeding By Example.

When developing your Unique Selling Proposition, remember what George Washington Carver said, “When you can do a common thing in an uncommon way; you will command the attention of the world.”

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