How To Deliver A Compelling Unique Selling Proposition (USP)


What's On the Line?

It's game seven of the NBA Championship. The game is on the line and there are 15 seconds left. Everybody knows that you are going to take the last shot. Do you want the ball?  Of course, everybody will say yes, but do they really mean it? 

 This is exactly the dynamic when we are presented with the opportunity to deliver our Unique Selling Proposition (USP).


When Somebody Asks Us

–      “So what makes you special?” or

–      “Why you and not your competition?”

You should have a powerhouse response practiced and ready to go.

I vividly remember the first time I was presented with the opportunity to deliver my Unique Selling Proposition. I was making a sales presentation in a diner in Vernon, CA. The prospect patiently listened as I went through all my features and benefits. When I was done, he moved all the papers in front of us to the side and asked, “So what makes you so special?” He was clearly challenging me.  

Had I not learned the magical USP formula I probably would have had to excuse myself and change my underwear.  But, I was ready. In fact, it was like everything was slow motion. I excitedly said to myself, “Oh my God, this guy is asking for my Unique Selling Proposition.” I was so fired up I could barely contain myself. I can honestly say I hit it out of the park. I know because the prospect just smiled when I was finished. He knew I had risen to the challenge. 

Here is how I did it. I used my proven USP formula. Master the formula and you are 90% of the way there. There are five steps to the formula:

–      Deliver the Introductory Command Language 

–      Explain Your Services in a Unique way

–      Highlight Your Best Results

–      Showcase Your personal Uniqueness

–      Close Strong with a Power Wrap up


                                                     Command Language 


I immediately took control of the conversation by firmly stating my command language. “I am glad you asked me that. What makes me unique are my services, my results and me personally.” 

You must take control with command language in the start of your unique selling proposition. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use that exact phrase. It works. 


Our Services 

This part should be easy. What are you selling? The key here is to position your products and services in a way that suggests you are offering something that is, at least, somewhat select. Do not put pressure on yourself to come up with something that is a class of one (i.e. You are the ONLY one that is offering it). Chances are, unless you have something special like a proprietary algorithm or recipe you will have competitors. The key is to phrase your offering in such a way that it sounds that you are in a select class of a few people who do what you do or sell what you sell.

Example: “We do one thing and one thing only – we  sell life insurance. And we can do three very unique things with our products:

–      Protect against catastrophic loss

–      Estate planning

–      Wealth creation

While other life insurance salespeople shy away from the word ‘insurance', we embrace it because of what we have been able to do with our products for our clients.

Be passionate about what you sell. If you are not, why should anyone else be?

Our Results 

There are two keys here:

–      Third party social proof

–      Monetization

People don't want to hear platitudes like, “we are great at customer service.” Everybody says this. People want independent, third party social proof that you can do what you say you can do. In other words, verifiable proof that what you say you can do for them you have already done for someone else. Statistics, case studies, references that you can point them to.

Oftentimes, the most compelling evidence is monetized results. (e.g. “Because of what we did our client made X or saved Y.”) Whenever possible, phrase your evidence in terms of money made or dollar saved.

 Example: “Our results speak for themselves. We recently had a client come to us who had a judgment entered against him. We filed a post judgment motion based upon some new case law and we were able to get the judgment overturned. “


 And Lastly, Me Personally 

This is hard for a lot of people. It requires some outright bragging. Before people buy products or services they buy personality and ideas. They want to know about YOU. Why are YOU so special.

There is a difference between bragging and sharing. You can share the best parts about you without coming across as an arrogant jerk. It is all in the delivery. 

 Example: “I pride myself on integrity. For example, everything I am selling you I own myself. If I am going to sell you a product I better believe in it enough to buy it for me and my family.”


Closing Power Language 

Ever heard that expression, “Put that in your pipe and smoke it!?” If not, it is another way of saying “Boom!” 

The closing power language is all about putting an exclamation point on your message. Just like your opening is about sending the message, “I am ready for this and accept your challenge” the closing is about telling the prospect (In a respectful way), “I told you I was ready.”

Example: “So, again, what makes me unique are my services, my results and me personally.”

No, that is not a typo. The closing language is identical to the opening language. The only differences are the purpose and tone.


What To Do Next

And then, shut up. Not easy, but you must for dramatic effect. You are effectively saying, “The ball is in your court now. What’s the next move?” Are you ready to move forward? 

Here is my challenge to you. Draft your own uniqueness statement using the above formula and take it out for a test drive. I would love for you to see first hand just how powerful it can be.

If you would like more help crafting a powerful Uniqueness Statement check out Creating Million-Dollar Messages.


Timothy OBrien