Monday, July 18, 2011

The Hitchhiker's Guide to a Unique Selling Proposition

Just like your first kiss, you never forget your first unique selling proposition (USP).

Mine was in June 1988, in England.

The nice lady at the youth hostel in London told me it would be easy to hitch a ride north on the M1. "Just walk out to the motorway entrance with a sign that says, 'STUDENT.' Drivers pick them up first."

Obediently, I wrote STUDENT in black magic marker on a piece of cardboard, took a cab to the M1 entrance, and ... found a line of about 10 other hitchhikers waiting for rides -- all holding signs that said "STUDENT."

"How long have you been here?" I asked the guy in front of me.

"About 20 minutes," he said. "I wager it'll take an hour for everyone ahead of us to get picked up."

"Oh, $%^@," I thought.

Then, inspiration struck.

I took out my magic marker, wrote "AMERICAN" on my sign, and held it up high.

I kid you not -- within 2 minutes, a car drove past the 10 STUDENTS and stopped right in front of me, the only AMERICAN STUDENT.

"Where to?" the driver asked.

"Birmingham," I replied.

"Hop in!"

If dirty looks were knives, I would have been stabbed 50+ times by the other hitchhikers as I threw my rucksack in the boot of the car.

The lesson?

You can market like everyone else in your industry and wait for clients to pick you from a lineup of sameness ... or you can find a way to stand out. A strong USP does that for you.

You'll find more ideas like these in my Free Report, Guaranteed Marketing.

1 comment: