In a few months’ time, networking (in groups) should return and it got me thinking. You know the sort of thing, loads of business owners in a room, food and drink, lots of noise, so you have to shout to make yourself heard, and a few people get to give a sales pitch. And, unless you are standing in the front row, or the event has a PA, they can’t be heard and so everyone just continues talking, not taking the slightest bit of notice.
Pretty much a waste of time! Well at one event I remember one of the speakers did their best to be heard; to stand out. They jumped up on a chair and spoke from there. From where I was, at least I could see him, but I still couldn’t hear a word that he said.
And, it got me thinking about standing out from the crowd. About a business having a USP (Unique Selling Proposition); a thing that makes you special. I had already met three photographers that evening and they had all said pretty much the same thing; great pictures, latest technology, reliable service. And, that their prices were coming down all the time. They had nothing unique, so the only thing that they could sell was on price.
So, my question is – what is your USP? When you next go networking and your competition is in the room, how will you stand out? What makes you truly different?
Here are three things that might help you to develop a really valuable USP. That will help you to win more business and be able to charge more.
- You can’t use what you see as benefits that your competition would also use, or for that matter are just expected of any good supplier. For example: outstanding photography, reliable, we go the extra mile. It has to be unique.
- Really dig down into what you do. Ask a friend to ask you this question, “So, why is that good?” And, get them to keep asking you the same question until your answer really makes them say, “Okay, now I’m interested!” For example: the computers you sell have the latest chip. “So, why is that good?” The answer might be because data is processed faster. “So, why is that good?” The answer might be because then you get you work done faster. “So, why is that good?” Get the idea? You just go on and on, until you really hit the reason that matters.
- A real success story. I heard a great example of this recently from a garage. Like most garages they did servicing, MOTs and body repairs. But, how about this for being truly unique? They service a fleet of Mercedes for a Royal family. Now that has to put them a step above the norm.
So, develop a one-off USP and you really will stand out when networking and it will help you win more business.