Your prospective clients want to know what makes you different. They ask because they want to understand why they should invest their time in you instead of one of your competitors. To answer this question, you had better know what makes your company, your offering—and you—better.
There is a lot of evidence that the one factor that has the greatest impact on a buyer’s decision is the salesperson. That means that you are part of the unique value proposition. Maybe the largest part! You are the sharp end of the spear. Your clients buy you.
You are a unique value proposition.
Your Unique Thinking
Your clients look to you for ideas. Your ideas are very different from your competitors (or they could be, if you worked at it). When you bring your unique thinking to bear on your client’s problems, challenges, or opportunities, you bring them your unique ability create that value.
Your unique ideas, if they are value creating, make you a strategic advantage. They make it difficult for you to be commoditized. They differentiate you in a way that is difficult to duplicate. Your uniqueness has no substitutes and is hard to compete against.
Your Unique Values
What you believe is important is very different from what you competitors believe is important. Your values are unique and different.
I have a client whose values start and end with honesty and integrity. His competitors take money from their vendors without disclosing it to their clients. Since they are billing the client for the services the vendors provide, he believes that the relationship should be transparent or taking their vendor’s payment would be stealing from his clients. So, he doesn’t take their money. In his industry, his values make him unique.
Your values and beliefs make you unique.
Your Unique Experience
No one has the same set of experiences as you. You have a different set of experiences that have provided you with different situational knowledge from your competitors. What you bring to the sales engagement is necessarily different from your competitors.
Your experiences provide you with a unique view on things. They’ve contributed to your unique thinking. Your experiences, if they provide your clients with some insight, allow you to create unique value.
Your Unique Abilities
We all have different strengths, different abilities. Your abilities make you unique. Some salespeople have great business skills. They have a high level of business acumen that allows them to better serve their clients. Other salespeople have great consensus-building skills. They can help initiate and manage change within their client’s company and their own. Still others have high emotional intelligence and they can easily manage difficult people, difficult situations, and difficult conversations.
Your unique combination of attributes and abilities make you different. They create value for your clients only if you figure out how leverage what it is that makes you special.
What makes you a unique value proposition?
What are the unique ideas that you can bring to your clients?
What values separate you from others?
What experiences have you had that allow you to offer your clients some insight?
What is your unique combination of attributes and abilities that make you your client’s strategic advantage?