– Get Over Yourself –
Article by Jerry Durham, PT
Edited by Ann Wendel, PT, ATC, CMTPT
Let’s review— a Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is a promise to provide services that a customer will find of great worth. The value you bring to your clients is unique to you. Clients can’t get YOU anywhere else.
Once you determine your UVP, you must make sure to share it appropriately; yet, many business owners are uncomfortable selling themselves.
I have worked with business owners to help them shape and define their UVP. Many business owners get stuck when I ask about the unique value they bring to their customers. They can talk about their services, products and their company’s commitment to long lasting partnerships. But when it comes to sharing more about themselves, they clam up. I think it’s hard to toot your own horn without feeling arrogant. Typically our values teach us to be humble, to say please and thank you. So it can be understandably difficult to talk about our strengths. If you allow yourself the indulgence of thinking about this, you might be shocked at how uniquely valuable you really are. Here are some tips you can follow to present a more compelling case when you talk about your unique value proposition:
Choose a few key words to get the conversation started. Have a few bullet points that you can talk about in a quick 10-second snippet and in a longer conversation when relevant.
Your key words should explain your particular approach to what you do. Below are examples from people outside the Healthcare world that can be used for starting conversations. For example, one business owner I spoke with likes to start with the phrase, “I like to see myself as the organizer of chaos.” Another business person I spoke with often starts new business conversations with: “Frankly, we give a (bleep), when others really don’t.” Once he has his prospect’s attention, he then elaborates. Another starts by saying, “We bring new life to what’s gotten stale.” And another: “We help companies remain relevant.”
These are not comprehensive, company-line Unique Value Propositions. They are key words that start to get at the heart of your unique perspective in a more human, less pre-packaged fashion. Think about what your conversation starter might be. And be sure to have some fun with it.
Ask yourself: “What do my clients get when they choose me?”
You bring particular values, styles and strengths. Maybe your strength lies in your willingness to deliver the hard truth even when it’s not what clients want to hear. Your best customers appreciate this, so talk about this approach. Maybe you were a college athlete and that experience fuels an obsessive level of discipline, focus and drive in everything you do. Not everyone is so driven. You can talk about your drive without seeming boastful. It’s who you are. Maybe you have a big heart. Maybe you’re a good listener. Maybe you love to solve hard problems. These traits drive your unique approach to serving your customers. Consider what your traits might be and don’t discount them. They will be more compelling than you think.
The convergence of what you most love to do, what you are best at and what your customer most needs and values is the sweet spot where business growth comes most effortlessly.
If this topic freaks you out, ask a client for help. Pick some of your best clients and ask them why they stuck with you and what they most like about working with you. This will be uncomfortable. Do it anyway. Those who know you best often can articulate what you are unable or unwilling to acknowledge or comfortably explain. Then you can use their words when talking with others, “My best clients tell me what they most appreciate about doing business with me is…”
Plan on struggling with this a bit. Everyone does.
It’s worth spending more time on articulating your Unique Value Proposition. Consider that your customers gain something when they decide to do business with you. When you focus on your value, you draw your perfect clients to your business. Instead of focusing on beating the competition, focus on making the competition irrelevant.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section!
Thank to Tom Batchelder for sharing his knowledge of UVP and marketing in his book “Barking Up a Dead Horse.”