Are you spending a lot of money on a marketing strategy to reach prospective customers and getting nothing, nada, crickets? It’s probably time to take a fresh look a your marketing message and write a new unique selling proposition.

What’s the difference between a selling proposition and a value proposition?

A Unique Selling proposition tells your target customer what makes you different. Your value proposition tells your customer why they should choose you.

Why is a Unique Selling Proposition Important

Having a Unique Selling Proposition makes it easy for your customer to understand what makes your business different from other alternatives.

To get your creative juices flowing, you can use these exercises and examples of unique selling proposition templates.

In a Hurry to Write a Unique Selling Proposition? Click straight to the exercises:

is it time to update your unique selling proposition. hand holding clock

Is it time to write your unique selling proposition?

It’s time to write a new unique selling proposition when you see:

  • Visits to your blog drop.
  • Email open rates go down
  • Your conversion rates drop
  • Your bounce rates go up

Assuming those are happening (and they can happen to even the best of us), it’s time to take a close look at re-connecting with your ideal customer, what matters to them and to get them choosing you again.

The 5-Power Questions for Developing a Unique Selling Proposition

question mark representing questions you can use to develop a unique selling proposition

Can I just tell you that this is the easiest, shortest, least complicated way to get laser-focused on your ideal customer and to craft a unique selling proposition , platform and brand that I’ve run across. You will be able to answer these questions in less than 30 minutes. But I want to warn you that actually CRAFTING the message will take a little longer.

When I first ran through this process, I answered the questions in just minutes, but it took me about 20 hours over the course of two weeks to tighten it up enough to create an explainer video and to use it as part of my signature talk.

Who is your ideal customer or audience

Who are you talking to? You know this drill. Find a single individual to talk to.

Put yourself in their shoes, follow them through their day, create an avatar or profile.

Do what you need to do so that you not only KNOW who they are. Your goal is toknow them as well as you know yourself, your spouse, your kids, your dog.

What is the problem that they are trying to solve?

Now, pretend that you’re a camera, or fly on a wall or silent observer and watch your ideal customer.

What is the problem they are desperately trying to solve? They may not even KNOW what the problem is, but YOU know. You can tell by observing and watching their actions,

How they do what they do,

how do they feel about what they are doing and where they are getting stopped and frustrated.

It’s a lot like watching a toddler trying to figure something out or a pet chasing its tail. You see what’s happening, you feel their frustration, and you know what to do. This is the moment you are capturing.

What is their perceived notion of how this problem is solved?

Let’s stay with the toddler/pet analogy.

How does your ideal client THINK they have to solve this problem? They try this, they do that, what is the outcome? Again, you are the observer, what happens when they try something and it doesn’t work?

What are they trying, what’s the outcome and how does it make them feel?

How does everyone tell them their problem is solved?

Now we’re at the point where they go looking for solutions.

What is everyone telling them they have to do? Are they doing that?

If they are doing it, why isn’t it working for them? And, if they aren’t doing it, what’s stopping them?

Notice how I’m describing this, it’s absolutely critical to stay in observation mode and NOT in thinking mode.

Thinking will come later. For now, just watch and observe your ideal customer going through the process of solving this problem from only what they see and what they know.

How do you believe this problem is solved?

This is the fun part ! This is where you step in and save the day! What is it that YOU KNOW that they don’t yet know?

It’s really important that you share this information in a kind and nurturing way as in “It’s not your fault” or another option is to sweep in and say — “It used to be this way, but NO MORE”.

The most important point is NOT to make them feel stupid because that will just drive them away. Your goal is to make them feel SMART for having been through the process and finally discovering your amazing solution

9 ways to spin your USP so that your ideal customer sees the wisdom of choosing you. You can choose to use one or as many as three in your marketing message.

Make it Exciting

What can you say about your message that would make it sound exciting to your audience? “Losing weight doesn’t have to be difficult. Have fun shedding pounds while you dance” Make your message exciting when your product or service is perceived as difficult or elusive.

Make it Interesting

To make your message interesting, create contrast and controversy. Take a common belief and turn it on hits head. For example; “Make more money by doing less and focusing on what delivers results.”

Keep it Simple

Create a simple statement that summarizes the core message in just a few words. Like, “Do Less Marketing Make More Money.”

Make it Newsworthy 

Write a message that sounds like a news story or news announcement. For example, “Not following a sales system is costing you customers! You are working harder, spending more money and letting ideal customer slip through your fingers, because you aren’t focused on ideal customers, your?e not following a process, and you treat all customers the same.”

Give it a Unique Spin

Position your product or service as being truly unique. If you have a unique process or system of delivering a result – that is unique. If your product has a unique design, then feature it in your message. “Get a better night’s sleep with our unique sleep number technology that allows you and your partner to each have your own firmness setting.”

Position it as a Secret Weapon

This is ideal for a product or service that makes your custoers and clients look and feel superior. “While all your friends are slaving away at the gym, you’ll be eating what you love while losing weight.”

Give it a Customer Focus

Look for elements of your message that meet the needs, wants, desires and removes fears, solve pains and problems. Remind customers of their pain and problem, then state the promise of your benefit and outcome. “Being maxed out and burned out leaves you feeling stressed and overwhelmed — invest just 5 minutes a day and free up 10 hours a week.”

Make it a BIG Breakthrough

Feature your product and service as a brand new and improved breakthrough. Make a statement comparing what people had to do before and what they can do now. “You used to have to spend hours at the gym to burn the same number of calories …”

Be the missing link to success

Take the blame away from your customers by telling them it’s not their fault because they didn’t know about your product or service or they didn’t have access to it. “The reason your sales & marketing hasn’t been successful is that you’ve been adding on more and more to the mix — what you SHOULD be doing is taking things AWAY and only doing the strategies that are generating your ideal clients.”

Where to Use Your New Marketing Message

I think there used to be a rule in marketing and marketing materials and messaging that says don’t try to accomplish too many things with one exercise — well I’m breaking that rule right here. This outline is SO POWERFUL and I’m so grateful for having run into it in my travels.

You can use this for:

  • Developing your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
  • Crafting a signature talk or presentation
  • Explainer videos to use on your site
  • Articles for your blog or your guest posts
  • Developing training and informational products to help other people
  • Ebooks
  • Podcasts
  • Entire content calendars

Potential Customers Peeves, Passions and Frustrations

grasses with balled up paper to indicate customer frustration and use it to build your USP

Draw a rather large circle on a piece of paper.

Make the circle big enough so that you can write all kinds of words in it – maybe even draw some basic pictures or icons as well. Give the circle the name “My Customers’ World”.

Now put yourself in the mind of your customer. Picture them clearly going about their day.

  • What are your customers committed to during their day?
  • How do they define excellence?
  • What are the things that thwart their being excellent as far as your product or service is concerned?

Mine this Information

Mining this kind of information is literally GOLD for your business. Remember, your customer isn’t thinking about your product or service, they are thinking about what they need to be successful. Then as they go through that, there are things that come up that STOP them from being successful.

This is when they start looking for solutions to what’s stopping them. This is where they start self diagnosing. The company that is THERE at this moment and that uses the words to what their problem is and gives them a solution will go to the top of the list.

Draw another large circle on another piece of paper.

Label this circle “My World”. This is where you get to list all the cool stuff you product or service does.

Don’t be shy. List each button, each feature, each doo-dad.

Write down each process, each question you ask, each special little thing you do. Then write down all the reasons that you do it exactly that way.

Don’t think about the customer right now – just think about why you do what you do. You have reasons — write them down.

Look for overlaps. Now, take a look at the circle labeled “My Customers’ World” and

  • Pick out the ONE thing that you KNOW frustrates them and keeps them from being the best they can be.
  • Place that ONE obstacle that keeps them from being their best in the intersection between the two circles.
  • Then look at the circle labeled “My World” and find the ONE item that most closely solves their problem.

What do you see?

What you should see is the perfect marriage between frustration and solution. If you don’t like what you see or it doesn’t excite you — don’t worry. Go back to the circles and try again. Mix and match your world with your customers world until you hit on the perfect HOOK.

I’ve created a worksheet that should help: DOWNLOAD the Unique Selling Proposition Worksheet (Two Worlds) Here.

Use These Fill-In-The-Blank Templates to Write Your Unique Selling Proposition

Personal Introduction

My name is [NAME], the CEO of [COMPANY].
Our company manufactures [PRODUCT] for [TARGET CUSTOMER] that allows them to [OUTCOME FROM YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE.].
Unlike [OUR COMPETITION], we [PRIMARY COMPETITIVE POINTS OF DIFFERENCE].

“Have You Ever” USP

Have you ever [THE SITUATION THAT THE PROSPECT FACES]?
[COMPANY NAME] manufactures [PRODUCT LINE] for [TARGET MARKET] so that you can [PRIMARY VALUE PROPOSITION / BENEFIT].
Unlike [TRADITIONAL ALTERNATIVES/COMPETITIVE OFFERINGS], [OUR PRODUCT] is [COMPETITIVE POINT OF DIFFERENCE].

What Do You Do USP Template

We (or I) work with… in this section DESCRIBE your ideal customer.
Who struggle with… This is where you want to put in THE ONE biggest, most emotional frustration that your ideal customer has around what you’re selling.
And would like to… Here is where you put what your customer WANTS — you know emotionally wants — not some pablum – something that would make their heart sing.
What makes my…Different From…. Is that we (or I)… This is where your differentiator – competitive advantage – or USP goes.
As a result, my clients receive…. What benefit do your customers get from your experience?

The Problem-Solution  USP

Problem: “[Customer Type] are often frustrated by the effort it takes to [Action].”
Solution: “[Your New Solution] eliminates the need to [Customer’s Old Solution].”
Why You: “For [Duration], [Customer Type] have trusted [Your Company] to provide the best solutions in [Customer’s Industry].”
Value: “With [Your New Solution], you can [spend less/make more] [time/money] [Action].”
CTA: “I’ll give you a call to learn more about your situation (Get Contact Info). Thanks for your time.”

Subject Line “Unique Selling Proposition”

In the same way that an email subject line piques your interest and introduces what’s in the email, a subject line elevator pitch can do the very same thing in a conversation.

To create a subject line elevator pitch simply start by brainstorming and writing down everything you want to say regardless of word count.  You can use this basic outline:

  • who are you
  • what problem you solve for customers
  • why is your solution unique
  • how will they benefit

The Examples of Unique Selling Proposition

Here are a few examples of unique selling propositions from a variety of companies that might give you some more ideas.

Lawn Doctor

CrazyEgg – “Make Your Website Better. Instantly”

GoShare – “Your Friend With a Truck”

Unbounce – “Convert More”

Now it’s your turn! See what amazing unique selling proposition ideas you come up with for your business.