Your Unique Value Proposition -
It's What Makes You Stand Out From the Crowd
by Ron Roberts and Ranger Kidwell-Ross
Whether you sell to clients directly or you sell to
general contractors, it is imperative that you
understand the unique value you offer and communicate
it clearly, concisely, and persuasively. You do so
with a Unique Value Proposition (UVP).
Your UVP identifies the reason your prospect should
hire you instead of anyone else. It's the reason your
client should pay more for your services.
Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of value
propositions, allow me to share a story from my old
engineering days that demonstrates why knowing and
communicating your UVP is so impactful to your bottom
I worked for a couple of engineers who believed almost
anything our clients told them (your price is too
high) and were somewhat clueless about why our
clients truly hired us. Like most engineers, they
believed we were hired due to the quality of our
designs. Yeah, right.
While pursuing my MBA, a marketing professor
encouraged my class to ask our clients why they
purchased our goods and services. So, I did.
I learned that our firm had a reputation for never
missing a deadline. We would not miss a deadline
no matter how late documents were sent to us.
Apparently, we were one of the only firms in town
that was insanely committed to meeting our clients'
After learning my firm's unique value, I decided
to find out whether my bosses were aware of it. So,
I caught them after work one day and casually asked
them why our clients hired us.
They figured our clients hired us because we were
the lowest price. Turns out they hadn't ever asked
our clients for the answer and our clients hadn't
gone out of their way to tell Tom and Bob the real
reason. If Tom and Bob knew we were the only MEP in
town that met deadlines, they would have been
positioned to raised our prices.
And that's the point of my story. When you're aware
of your UVP, you create the opportunity to raise your
Crafted properly, your UVP will carry influence with
your clients, prospective clients, employees, and
Yes. Your UVP helps you internally (employees) as well
as externally (customers).
Let's break the term down:
Unique: Your business is the only one that has it.
Value: A benefit of great meaning to your customer.
Proposition: A promise.
Three key points to understand about UVPs:
1. You cannot be all things to all people.
2. You must live up to your promised value proposition.
3. You need to come up with a catchy way to express
You Cannot Be All Things To All People
You have many different ways you can be different than
your competition. Here are ten of the most obvious ones:
1. Always on time
2. Great communication
4. Notify promptly of any problems on property
5. Uniformed personnel
6. Training / education
7. Offer variety of related services
8. Creative solutions
9. Best price
10. Highest quality
Clients have many different needs and many different
reasons for selecting their contractor. Finding ones
that match your UVP closely is critically important.
By necessity, your UVP will niche your business. It's
just part of the deal.
A UVP that is all things to all people is not a UVP. It
is too broad. Too general. It will lack punch and
Your UVP needs to be specific which forces you to find
your niche and stick to it. Diversification is for
Fortune 500 companies. Focus is the magic word for small
Let me give you an example of marketing focus from our
coaching practice. Guy and I know that our solutions and skill training
will benefit just about every business. That leaves the
market wide open for our services, right? Not really.
We know better than to chase the wide open market.
Marketing ourselves as generic business coaches for the
masses (like most do) would leaves us in a "me too"
position. Watered down message and too much competition.
So, we pursue businesses within the construction industry.
Then, we tighten our marketing message even further. Our
objective is to become THE business coach that commercial
and industrial contractors turn to when they're ready
for outside assistance with their business.
Although everything we teach and deploy works equally
well for contractors of all stripes, we seek to gain a
competitive advantage. For us that competitive advantage
is the commercial contractor market. Here's why.
We have spent almost our entire careers in the commercial
and industrial construction markets. That's where our
success stories, case histories, and testimonials come
from. Those items are important marketing and sales
tools. Meeting with a prospect without them is like
going to war without ammo. You can win, but it sure
makes it more difficult.
Furthermore, there are several coaches and consultants
who claim expertise in the residential contractor
market. There are very few who claim expertise at
running a commercial construction business.
So, despite working with select residential remodelers
and take them on as clients whenever the right one pops
up, we focus our marketing efforts on commercial
contractors. Do you see the parallel to your business?
It's imperative that you niche your business. Don't be
all things to all people. Find the market segment you
can dominate and stay true to it.
You Must Live Up To Your Promised Value Proposition
Whatever UVP you're pressing, it must be driven
throughout your organization. It must become your
organization's culture. Failure to deliver on the UVP
is not an option for anyone in your company.
Continuing with our example, Guy and I know exactly
the type of clients we will be successful with. We
know which ones will respond well to our assistance
and which ones won't.
We refuse to give client less than they need to achieve
their goals and objectives. We are very up front with
our prospects about that. Being so is the only way we
can make sure we live up to our promise to them.
Likewise, your company MUST keep the promises you made
during the selling process. Even member of your company
must be fully committed to that level of performance.
It if your company can't keep the promise, turn down
You Need To Come Up With a Catchy Way To Express Your
When worded effectively, your customers will respond
emphatically to your UVP. It will speak to their hearts
and souls. It will reach them and touch them.
They will think "Yes! THAT is what I want!"
Keep your unique value proposition tight. Use as few
words as possible while maintaining clarity and target.
For example, here is our current one:
"We take commercial contractors to the next level by
implementing proven business systems and teaching
essential business skills." We continually test it and
Now, I'm not going to kid you here. Coming up with the
right wording for your UVP takes time. You will need
to test different versions until you find the one that
rings the bell for your clients and prospects.
How To Uncover Your UVP
Do some competitive research. Do some market research.
Find out what your competitors strengths are and find
out what your market wants that your competitors are
Look inside your own company. Look at your personal
strengths and weaknesses. Look at your team's strengths
and weaknesses. Analyze your past history with clients.
Find a match between what you're willing to do, what
the market wants, and what your competition either
isn't good at or isn't willing to do.
Once you get those three things triangulated, you
will know your unique value. Turn it into a persuasive
phrase and make it the basis of your advertising
campaign, your proposals, your selling message, your
qualification of clients, and finally, your
If you need help identifying and crafting your UVP,
give us a call (913-961-1790 or 708-774-6500). Life
is too short to be grinding away at a business that
doesn't produce the rewards you deserve!
Until next time, best of luck with your business!
The Contractor's Business Coach
More information about Ron Roberts' and his company may be found on his website FilthyRichContractor.com. Ron may be reached via email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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