Whether you call it a USP (unique selling proposition) or a UVP (unique value proposition) we’re talking about the same thing. Essentially, what USP and UVP means is how do you differentiate yourself from others that offer the same service or product? In a world full of competitors if you can’t pinpoint what makes your business unique your sales efforts will fall flat. So, can you identify your USP? With a little bit of soul searching you can!
Over 60% of investors believe that most financial advisors make the same promises.
How to Create a Unique Selling Proposition
Step 1: Survey The Competitive Landscape
Do your research – take a look at the competitive landscape and understand how they differentiate themselves to better position yourself and your business for success by defining how your services are different and better. Ask yourself: what do they do well, what do they do poorly and where are the gaps? After asking yourself these questions you can have a better framework for the “U” in USP or what makes you and your financial planning business unique.
Step 2: Clearly Identify Your Target Market
Ask yourself – do you really know who your niche market is? We’re talking about more than just age, income and gender. What is it that keeps them up at night and how does your service or product help solve their pain points? Put yourself in their shoes and take off your advisor hat for just a minute. What do your customers really want from your product or service? If you haven’t already developed your target market you need to, like yesterday. Check out our FREE personas worksheet to help gather your thoughts.
In the example below, Twenty Over Ten client, C.L. Sheldon & Company clearly define their niche on their homepage. The more explicitly you define your niche, the more your current and prospective clients will see how you have the expertise to help their specific needs.
Step 3: Identify Your Firm’s Benefits
The key here is to be brutally honest with yourself and evaluate what features set your practice apart from your competition. Not only that, but how does it benefit your target market? Ask yourself: what is it specifically about the financial advising practice that makes my clients want to work with me over my competition and even refer their family, friends, and colleagues? If you’re not sure, go straight to the source. Ask your clients, hold a focus group or send out a survey.
Step 4: Write It Down!
Now that you know your industry, your customers and your true benefits, write it all down to one or two sentences. We know it sounds easier said than done, but we can assure you it’s an essential part of developing a USP worth turning heads. Think about what will motivate prospective clients. It’s not flowery advertising speak or financial jargon, it’s powerful impact and emotion. The more you learn about your clients you’ll notice your USP will grow and evolve over time with your business.
In the example below, Twenty Over Ten client Nurture Financial Planning explains who they specialize in serving form the moment you land on their website.
In addition, in the example below, they use the three brief sentences to clearly explain their methodology and their unique approach to helping their clients.
4 Elements to a Strong Unique Value Proposition
By combining the four elements below you can create an incredibly strong unique value proposition for your firm.
1. The Benefits To The Client
Ask yourself – how does it benefit the person you are trying to reach? Does your USP clearly define what you will be able to provide your clients? You never want to leave your current and prospective clients wondering what they will get if they work with you. This is why you should make it known to them how you will be able to help them with their financial needs.
2. The Attributes Of Your Advisory Firm
Start with how it benefits the other person, then you talk about the specific attributes that are different about your firm. Do you offer free downloads or webinars that would help educate your current and prospective clients on certain subjects that would pertain to them? Whatever it is that you offer, make sure you provide something of value that differentiates your financial advisory firm from the rest.
3. Make A Rational Argument
Convey your expertise and authority within your space or niche. What is your rationale for being the best choice for clients to pick you over the rest? Make sure you make a strong point that articulates to current and prospective clients why you are the best firm to help them.
4. Incorporate An Emotional Component
When your clients think about your brand what feelings are evoked? These positive feelings can go a long way in differentiating yourself from your competitors. Share something personal that connects to your niche. Maybe it’s a client’s personal testimony of how you helped them, or, maybe it’s a personal testimony of your own. This shows a more human side of your brand, a side of your brand that people can truly connect to.
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About the author
A part of Twenty Over Ten’s digital marketing team, Lauren is a Content Creator. A true Carolina girl through and through, she loves everything about Fall (yes, especially #PSL ☕) and can’t resist a fluffy yellow lab.