Creating a unique value proposition is one of the most common subjects we are asked to speak on. As a way of lending you our expertise without having you attend yet another workshop on the subject, I’ve gathered three good unique value propositions and two great unique value proposition statements from some successful teams we’ve worked with—and provided insights on why they work and how they can be improved. Think of this as coaching in a can.
Good UVP #1: Our team helps business partners turn their business into a secure lifetime income.
This is a good, basic unique value proposition. It’s brief and very much to the point. There’s a focused target group (business partners) and a clearly defined benefit (secure lifetime income). It doesn’t get much clearer or more direct than this, so this is a very good effort for a first attempt at a UVP. Here’s how it can be improved:
Don’t “help”; specialize. No one thinks they need help—certainly not business people and especially not entrepreneurs. Consider instead: “The ABC Team specializes in…”
“Business partners” is a bit confusing. Does the team really specialize in helping “business partners”? If you really specialize in partnerships, that could be a very interesting target group (very specific). If you mean “business owners,” say it, but be more specific. Consider highlighting the industry, type of business or particular point in the business’ lifecycle.
What’s the pain? The UVP clearly defines the benefit—lifetime income—but people are more motivated to avoid pain than to achieve pleasure. How can you relieve the client’s pain of worrying about income for life? Can this be rewritten as “guaranteed income,” or is it just “secure income”?
For a unique value proposition to be truly great, you need to specify the target group as much as possible and then articulate the group’s pain as clearly and powerfully as possible. A great unique value proposition causes the audience to go, “Hey, that’s me they’re talking about!” and then, “Yes, that’s how I feel!” and then, “I’ve got to go talk to those guys!”
Good UVP #2: I provide wealth accumulation strategies for small-business owners who realize they are behind in saving for retirement.
This is a very solid UVP that is consistent with the model. It is tight and focused, and will work as it is. However, to improve it from good to great:
Avoid buzzwords. “Wealth accumulation” is a buzzword in our industry. How can you reword this so that everyone in your target market understands and can relate to it?
Avoid jargon. “Small-business owners” is jargon. A UVP works best when it meets the audience members in a way they can relate to. Very few business owners think of themselves as a “small-business owner.” They think of themselves as part of an industry, as an entrepreneur or through other criteria they can relate to personally and emotionally. If this could be more specific (like dry cleaners or franchise owners or chiropractors), it would be stronger.
What’s the biggest concern? Is feeling “behind in saving for retirement” the deepest concern of the target group? Is this the group’s strongest pain? A UVP works when it touches a hot button. In this case, many entrepreneurs are so focused on the survival of their business that they aren’t thinking about a retirement savings plan. They imagine that they’ll fund their retirement out of the sale of their business. To make this UVP truly great, consider taking a closer look at your target market and make sure you have found the hottest button to push.
A great UVP is always about the target audience, its members’ pain and their needs rather than the features and benefits of the advisor’s practice. As marketing guru Jay Abraham reminds us, “It’s not about you. It’s all about them.” Advisors limit the motivational force of their UVP when they describe their valuable services rather than speak to the emotional needs of a particular group of people.