Unique Selling Proposition
According to Wikipedia the "Unique Selling
(also Unique Selling Point) is a marketing concept that
was first proposed as a theory to explain a pattern among
successful advertising campaigns of the early 1940s.
It states that such campaigns made unique propositions
to the customer and that this convinced them to switch
I'd like to take some poetic license with this definition.
When you're selling I believe it's the little things you
do for your sales prospects and customers that make the
big difference. These little things turn heads, add value,
show interest and when it's all said and done just makes
people feel better about you and your company.
Last week Bernadette, my wife, and I went
to New York City
for the National Speakers Association Black Tie Awards
Banquet. We also had dinner at a great steakhouse - Bobby
Vans on 54th St. And we went to Broadway to see August
Osage County. The show recently won five Tony's and after
seeing the show I understand why.
During the visit however, we were touched by little things.
At the Courtyard Marriott Hotel on 3rd Ave we had a late
breakfast on Sunday morning. As I was signing the check
the server presented us with two bottles of water and said,
"You might need these today because it's going to be hot."
I've been to a lot of restaurants and this is the first time
I walked out with a bottle of water to help me get through
Not exactly an unique selling proposition, but it was a little
and a nice touch.
The next morning at the same restaurant and with the same
server, there was a little mix-up between what we ordered
and what was served. Not a big deal! When the server gave
us the check she told us, "Because I screwed up, one
breakfast is free." A little thing and a nice touch.
One afternoon, following another late morning breakfast, we
decided we were in the mood for a bowl of chicken noodle
soup. It took us awhile to find a restaurant, but T.G.I.
Fridays had exactly what we were looking for. The soup was
good and I asked for the check.
I saw something on this check that I've never seen before,
maybe you have, but I haven't. On the bottom of the check
were the words "Suggested gratuity." Then there were three
GOOD 15% $1.83
GREAT 18% $2.19
EXCELLENT 20% $2.44
Remember these amounts are for two bowls of chicken noodle
soup. Makes tipping easy and a no-brainer. This is a great idea
and may be a unique selling proposition until other restaurants
do the same thing. But for now a little thing and another nice
If you don't already know this I grew up in New York. Back
then the taxi cabs were dirty. Now they have to be washed
everyday. When they first installed partitions separating
the front seat from the backseat for safety reasons - during
the summer, the air-conditioning never got to the passenger's
side of the partition.
That's all changed. Bernadette and I are in the backseat
of a taxi cab. Yes the partition is still there and so are
the new controls for air conditioning to the backseat.
VeriFone also had a built-in credit card machine.
VeriFone also had a small TV monitor so we could watch TV
from our air conditioned backseat. Little things and a very
During the last 20 years I've traveled around the world
delivering my keynote speeches and sales training programs.
As a result I have stayed in hundreds of hotels. Usually
big associations stay at big hotels for all of the obvious
reasons. These bigger hotels have banks of elevators.
In the past, if you're at the Lobby level you waited, along
with the rest of the crowd, for a green light and an opening
door, and then you had to muscle your way into the elevator.
The National Speakers Association was held at the Marriott
Marquis Hotel located in Times Square. Over the years I've
stayed there at least 10 times.
We entered the lobby and headed toward the bank of elevators.
Ah, but this is a new experience for us. As you approach the
bank of elevators we came upon, what looked like a very large
calculator with a LCD screen. All you had to do was punch
in the floor number you wanted and look at the screen for
the number of the elevator that would take you to your floor.
Now that's brilliant, might even be an unique selling proposition,
and makes it extremely easy for all guests to find their next
elevator. This is an example of another little thing that's more
than a nice touch.
I guess the secret to selling success is continuous improvement.
This continuous improvement should become your unique selling
Everyday ask this question, "How can I do it better?"
body in every company asked this question every day and
followed-up with changes that made things better - guess what
would happen? Your sales prospects and customers would line
up to do business with you and your company.
Any company that has a Unique Selling Proposition that's focused
on doing a lot of little things better than the competition would
have to be, eventually, the market leader.
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