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Marketing Strategy - Spell Out Your Unique Value

By Kevin P. Dervin
Posted Friday, January 21, 2005

I attended a “Sales Focus” seminar a few years back in which the speaker asked this key question. “Why, based on all the competitive alternatives available to me, would I want to buy from you?” What a great question.

Most of the participants in the room couldn’t come up with anything beyond – “We’ve only got experienced professionals on staff.”; “We use proven methodologies.”; “We’ve got a reputation in the marketplace for delivering value-added services.” or “We’re totally committed to our clients’ success.”

To which the speaker replied, “Excuse me, but who’s not saying those things?”

You must be able to clearly define what differentiates you from your competitors in the marketplace. If you’re not clear, how can you expect your clients and prospects to be clear? In essence, you might as well be saying, “Please buy from me what you might otherwise buy from someone else. Give me your money.”

Your long winded description of who you are, what you do for a living and why you’re so great will rarely attract your ideal client. If fact, you’re probably more likely to drive them away.

We all know a lot of service providers who are “out there” trying to use this approach. Most of them are standing around commiserating with each other that “it’s tough out there”, and “people just aren’t buying right now.” What they don’t understand is that without clearly articulating their unique value they’re not giving prospective clients, who actually want and need their service, a chance to find them.

If you haven’t spent the time to get straight on this concept for your business, then stop what you’re doing and do this now. Trust me when I say that you’re better off to skip the next networking meeting or postpone that next sales meeting to work on this step rather than continue on without it.

When done correctly, clear definition of your unique value becomes one of the most potent weapons in your marketing and sales arsenal.

How do you do this? Here’s an idea. Start by truly defining who your ideal client is. Not some vague description of various types of clients you’ve worked with in the past. Develop a solid profile of what your favorite, best, most ideal client looks like. Next, clarify what success in working with you would look like from the client’s perspective.

Now answer this question, “Why do you work?” What is it that you are uniquely doing and why does that make it a better deal for the client? What do you do better, different, faster, more economically, with higher quality, with added benefits, with lower risk, or with a different spin? Be as specific as you can. Don’t generalize or be vague.

If you really want to get tremendous value from this exercise then sit down with a handful of your ideal clients and share your results with them to get their input. Oh by the way – just by doing this, you will be differentiating yourself from your competition because you’re including your clients.

Once you’ve got this clear definition of your unique value, you can use it throughout all of your marketing and sales efforts. To be effective, it must be authentic and real. Don’t go overboard where you might over promise and under deliver. That could kill your business faster than anything else.

The more you’re able to communicate your unique value, the more you’ll be working with your ideal clients and providing them your services.

(c) - Kevin Dervin, KPD Marketing

About the Author:
Kevin Dervin is the owner of KPD Marketing and creator of the ABCD Growth System. If you find this article useful, you’d probably enjoy Kevin’s FREE monthly eZine called ABCD Grow. To subscribe, just go to ( and follow one of the links to the FREE Stuff page!


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