Defining a unique selling proposition (USP) will determine your place in the market and identify why clients or consumers should choose you rather than your competitors. Imagine being confronted by shelves of new but seemingly similar products in a supermarket. Which one should you choose? How do you even begin to differentiate one product from the next? Your eyes will be naturally drawn to bold, memorable packaging that makes a product stand out and suggests it offers something different or better.
Whether in the B2C or B2B sector, it is important to communicate to your target audience, why your product is different from others. A key part of any proposition is the set of benefits that will make your clients’ lives easier; bespoke solutions that are unique to your business, and make your services stand out from the crowd.
Why should a client choose your business over a competitor? Which challenges can your business address that others cannot?
Creating a USP is an easy concept to understand but communicating your unique selling points effectively to the client at key stages of the buying process is not necessarily straightforward.
"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." —Coco Chanel
In today’s multi touch marketing world, successful campaigns must deliver a highly consistent message and communicate a set of USPs across a wide proliferation of channels. Developing a relatable and achievable USP enables a business to build up a strong profile of its strengths, and a robust sales message, which can be used to target prospective leads across multiple platforms. When your method of communication is the telephone, however, a strong USP is critical, given the particular attributes of this channel. An effective USP needs to be tailored not only to the campaign itself but must work in the context of the personal, one to one communication provided by a phone conversation. Here are five points to consider when developing an effective USP for telemarketing purposes.
1. Securing a Return on Investment
A strong USP delivers ROI. When a prospective client calls The Telemarketing Company to enquire about our services, one of the first things we ask them about is their USP. Given the time and cost required to reach the right decision maker contact, you need a strong USP to get their attention and to give them a reason to listen, when you do get through. Without a strong differentiator around your product or service, it is difficult to progress a prospect through to a successful outcome and therefore secure a return from your investment. If you come to us without a USP or with an undeveloped sales message, we will almost certainly advise you to look at alternative approaches – particularly if your business is operating in a very competitive, crowded market.
2. Always be mindful of your reputation
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently." —Warren Buffett
Telemarketing is a more direct, personal, marketing channel - it isn’t as easy to ignore as say email. On the plus side, your response rates and potential ROI are higher and you can make a strong impression, but, as a consequence, the time you spend with each lead must be used wisely. If you reach a Senior Decision Maker, but are perceived to be wasting their valuable time, the call could negatively impact your brand reputation.
As we discussed in an earlier blog post, depth of engagement and quality of interaction during a single phone conversation have the potential to take cold data right through to a well-qualified, sales-ready lead, when the call is well executed. The real key to a successful telemarketing call is always preparation.
To get attention and credibility from the start, you need to be ready to quickly present a clear and solid reason as to why your product/service is better than the thousands of others on the market. A well developed and communicated USP will naturally provide clear messaging to address questions and barriers raised, thereby building trust and establishing a clear, credible brand reputation.
3. Clear and Succinct
Unlike other channels, the call is bound by limited time and does not benefit from images, visual cues or body language. If a cold call, the person on the receiving end may only be partially engaged with what you are saying, depending on how busy they are when you call, and what distractions are around them. When we go into a briefing session with a client, one of the most important things we emphasise is the need to have a USP that gets attention but which, most importantly, can be clearly and succinctly communicated over the phone. Clients often arrive with carefully crafted, often wordy messages and materials, which have been honed over time for various other campaigns but are not necessarily easy to present over the phone. Telemarketers handling the account will need to firstly understand the USP themselves, and secondly effectively market the USP to prospects on a call, quickly and succinctly using natural language.
4. The benefits of Human Interaction
Every marketing message must involve a degree of personalisation to a specific target audience in order to get noticed, but no other channel offers as much potential for content relevance as a one to one conversation. One of the main advantages of telemarketing as a channel, is that human interaction provides what customers value most: a two way conversation that builds trust and understanding, and tailored responses that speak to their specific needs and wants. A real, live conversation enables both parties to quickly understand each set of interests and telemarketers can tailor the proposition accordingly in real time.
The more you can communicate a USP in the context of a particular sector or interest of the customer, the more effective the call will be. Human to human marketing is a hugely influential platform, which can make B2B clients and B2C customers feel more valued, and which can build the depth of relationship needed for high value sales transactions.
5. Feedback and Testing
The two way nature of phone contact allows you to capture feedback, even when a client is not receptive to the USP you present, and this is potentially as valuable as a positive outcome, as it helps you refine your message and proposition based on real customer insight.
Callers can dig down into responses using open questions to understand why customers aren’t convinced by your USP and uncover what you aren’t offering that could be of interest. In addition, call recordings are available so that clients can hear the true ‘Voice of the Customer’. Call recordings during the early stages of a campaign are particularly useful to identify barriers and objections and to help refine messaging to improve campaign results, and inform future sales and marketing strategy.
A well-defined USP enables you to differentiate your product and help you stand out from your competitors in the market place. It provides a solid foundation for customer engagement and consistent messaging across your channels. When approaching customers over the phone, your USP is the key to ROI, ensuring you gain and keep attention, and build trust with a solid messaging strategy which positions your product/service benefits in relation to your customer’s interests and needs. Most importantly, it allows you to tailor your message in the most personal way through two-way, one to one communication.