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  #1  
Old March 13, 2007, 08:31 PM
Unregistered
 
Posts: n/a
Default USP Help continued...

Wow! Thanks to all that returned for a quick response and thanks for your help and comments.

Some had asked a few questions and I will try to answer...

I think my existing clients buy from me because I am the cheapest (cheapest that sells all that I do), because I generally dont whine for more money when the going gets tough (contractors call that a change order), because I offer everything that they need to complete a project... they give me an adress and, if they choose to trust me, the next meeting we have is when I hand them the keys to a finished space, permits finaled, construction complete, counters installed, signs up and lit, now hiring banner installed, ready to open for business.

My competitors... I see my competitors as much larger companies with more overhead, many more office and field personnel, subcontractors and their problems, mechanics lien issues on the customers property (from not paying the subcontractors), etc.

My ideal client is typically a small national chain that builds many locations in each of my states that I work in. My clients need to be big enough to keep building but not so big that they have their own construction managers or act as their own general contractors. My clients are busy finding real estate and opening stores and appreciate that I can take care of whats needed in between those two activities. And they are willing to pay for that hassle to be taken out of their lap.

Another ideal client is a busy property manager in charge of several commercial properties... same customer size criteria, for the same reasons stated above.

My risk reversals are not standards... we reduce the customer risk by ensuring a sub or supplier wont bite them in the but by filing liens for non-payment on the property. we design and review designs against codes that we are familiar with (retail, dry cleaning, sign zoning, etc)... more familiar with than our competitors.

Another mention is that since we use very few subcontractors, we do not mark up for a general contractor fee on any work that we do on our own. A typical General Contractor will have electrical+25% + plumbing+25% + mechanical+25% etc etc. We also mark up subs but we sub very little. Anything we do ourselves is not further marked up. In the end, the customer might find a painter that will do the painting for slightly less that we will but they will not usually find anyone to do the whole package as inexpensively as us.

Someone asked our company name... for 20 years its been a generic name... "Altex" or more acurately.. "The Altex Companies". When I started out, I was only doing stucco work (textures) - hence the name ALL-TEX... I later dropped the hyphen and lightened it to just Altex.

Well, I hope this helps some. I am still thinking, hard. And I do appreciate the help. I am just overwhelmed with how to bring it down to an elevator speech or better yet... something that will fit on a business card. If I can see this happen here in the next short while I will be a believer for life.

Continued Thanks,
John
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  #2  
Old March 13, 2007, 11:25 PM
Rod Carr's Avatar
Rod Carr Rod Carr is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 61
Default Re: USP Help continued...

John,

Sounds like you've got quite a business.

From this last post you suggest your existing clients hire you because you are the cheapest.

You also suggest your ideal client is willing to pay to eliminate the general contractor hassles.

Which one to go after is obviously a no-brainer, but I'm wondering if you have surveyed the opinions of these folks.

What you or I might think your prospect wants doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

And I don't think this has to be that complicated or time-consuming.

If I were you I'd call, meet, or mail a brief survey to a short list of your ideal prospects to identify the most important problems they face, and want you to solve.

Take the results and write a short paragraph restating the benefits of eliminating the hassles they have expressed.

Then wittle it down into one or two short sentences.

This should give you some really good USP ideas.

When you get to this point, see how well this sets you apart from your competition by completing this question:

What most businesses in this industry do is _________,

But, what Altex does is _________.

One other thing you might then try is the "Did you know?" approach.

Imagine yourself taping somebody on the shoulder to tell them about Altex by stating your USP to them in a "Did you know..." format.

See what you got and continue to test to see what works best.

Good luck!

Rod
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  #3  
Old March 14, 2007, 12:19 AM
Don Alm
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: USP Help continued...

"AllTex - From Conception to Reception"

Don Alm
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  #4  
Old March 14, 2007, 12:47 PM
Rod Carr's Avatar
Rod Carr Rod Carr is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 61
Default Re: USP Help continued...

AllTex - From Conception to a Banner Reception

You Can Laugh At Building Worries If You Follow The AllTex Turnkey Plan

Can You Think Of A More Profitable Use Of Your Time?

================

When Bob Jones Built A New Dry Cleaner For $1,200,000
He Made A $400,000 Mistake.

Visit AllTex And You Won't Make The Same Mistake.

================

Don't Even Think About Building A New Dry Cleaner Without
A Turnkey Offer From AllTex

AllTex - From Building Conception to a Banner Reception When You Get The Keys


Rod
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  #5  
Old March 26, 2007, 09:23 PM
-TW -TW is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 723
Default Re: USP Help continued...

If you're still out there...

Here's an easy way to convert (read: uncover) your features into benefits.

It's also a way to uncover your one GIANT/VITAL benefit -- upon which you can (+ should) hang your ENTIRE mrktng (for example, as Verizon has wisely done with the "It's the network" usp).

It's just three simple words ---

_____________________

... which means that...

_____________________

Just insert that after each of your known features, and complete the sentence.

If you still end up with a feature, just keep adding that phrase ("which means that...") until you convert that feature into a benefit

(remember, a feature is what you do/provide -- a benefit is what they GET -- classic example: waterproof boots --- dry feet)

By doing this, you'll end up with a list of customer-oriented benefits (not features).

To get (uncover) your ONE vital benefit, just take all the benefits you uncover, and keep reducing each of THOSE down too -- using the "which means that" phrase -- when you do that, you may find that all the benefits boil down to ONE (the same) CORE BENEFIT.

If they do, you're in luck!

You've now discovered the cornerstone of all your marketing msgs! Your USP.

Consider having your USPs begin with the word "Get," --- as in, "You get..."

Enjoy!

-- TW
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  #6  
Old March 27, 2007, 07:01 PM
Duane Adolph Duane Adolph is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 148
Default Re: USP Help continued...

Hi John,

Wow, you have been given a lot of valuable information on how to create your USP once you have some of the raw features etc. etc. of your business.

While I did not read your "other" post, something about this last post stopped me right away. Specifically this sentence

"I think my existing clients buy from me because I am the cheapest" (bold emphasis is mine)

2 thoughts.

Thought #1

When you stated "I think", this leads me to assume, that you don't "Know" for sure Why your customers really do buy from you....right?

Thought #2

Competing on price is a dangerous game. Another bigger, "badder", or smaller and faster company or person could potentially come into your neighbourhood and drive prices further down.

O.K That said, the only way to KNOW for certain would be to survey your past clients and ASK them Why they bought from you.

It's The customers perspective, that really counts. Not yours.

How do THEY REALLY see your service? Don't guess...just ask.

The purpose of the USP is to position you in the mind of Your Customer so that whenever they have a problem or challenge they think of you as the Go to Guy for that solution.

Just think of this.

What if...you find out the reason that they buy from You is that they TRUST you more, than the competitors. Or there is some Other Reason, other than price.

In line with this example, if it is the TRUST factor that is selling you. You could raise your prices and even charge a premium service. While emphasizing your Trust factor. (Better Guarantee or Risk Reversals etc.etc)

Competing on price alone is a dangerous game.

I would hate for you to prematurely base your entire USP around a faulty assumption without first asking your customer.

So That said.

You could also Find Out...

WHO really is your competitor and find their clients.

ASK them why they buy from so and so (tactfully and respectfully of course)

Heck they may even complain about the job that was done, and wham bam You have a potential client :->

Stop "Thinking so hard" trying to come up and be creative.

Ask (pay someone else...preferrably you) 100 past customers and customers of competitors to do a survey to Find out for sure.

Your USP may be articulated perfectly, the problems and challenges will also be articulated perfectly by your clients.

THEN.

Take the info that has been fre.ely shared here about USP Creation
And then CREATE your USP.


**Anybody here have any Good Survey Scripts? or Questions That could be asked to elicit these kind of answers from customers?** (I'll see if I can dig some up)

Good luck John!

Duane

P.S
John Stop thinking so hard.

Get out of YOUR MIND and INTO the mind of the customer...cuz' THAT is where ALL lot of your answers lie.








Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Wow! Thanks to all that returned for a quick response and thanks for your help and comments.

Some had asked a few questions and I will try to answer...

I think my existing clients buy from me because I am the cheapest (cheapest that sells all that I do), because I generally dont whine for more money when the going gets tough (contractors call that a change order), because I offer everything that they need to complete a project... they give me an adress and, if they choose to trust me, the next meeting we have is when I hand them the keys to a finished space, permits finaled, construction complete, counters installed, signs up and lit, now hiring banner installed, ready to open for business.

My competitors... I see my competitors as much larger companies with more overhead, many more office and field personnel, subcontractors and their problems, mechanics lien issues on the customers property (from not paying the subcontractors), etc.

My ideal client is typically a small national chain that builds many locations in each of my states that I work in. My clients need to be big enough to keep building but not so big that they have their own construction managers or act as their own general contractors. My clients are busy finding real estate and opening stores and appreciate that I can take care of whats needed in between those two activities. And they are willing to pay for that hassle to be taken out of their lap.

Another ideal client is a busy property manager in charge of several commercial properties... same customer size criteria, for the same reasons stated above.

My risk reversals are not standards... we reduce the customer risk by ensuring a sub or supplier wont bite them in the but by filing liens for non-payment on the property. we design and review designs against codes that we are familiar with (retail, dry cleaning, sign zoning, etc)... more familiar with than our competitors.

Another mention is that since we use very few subcontractors, we do not mark up for a general contractor fee on any work that we do on our own. A typical General Contractor will have electrical+25% + plumbing+25% + mechanical+25% etc etc. We also mark up subs but we sub very little. Anything we do ourselves is not further marked up. In the end, the customer might find a painter that will do the painting for slightly less that we will but they will not usually find anyone to do the whole package as inexpensively as us.

Someone asked our company name... for 20 years its been a generic name... "Altex" or more acurately.. "The Altex Companies". When I started out, I was only doing stucco work (textures) - hence the name ALL-TEX... I later dropped the hyphen and lightened it to just Altex.

Well, I hope this helps some. I am still thinking, hard. And I do appreciate the help. I am just overwhelmed with how to bring it down to an elevator speech or better yet... something that will fit on a business card. If I can see this happen here in the next short while I will be a believer for life.

Continued Thanks,
John
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  #7  
Old April 1, 2007, 10:48 AM
Joetrevison
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: USP Help continued...

There is a simple way to do this:

If I could show you how to_______Would you be interest in knowing more about it.

I can do you taxes and get you out of the Grip of the IRS. Would ou be interested in know more about it.

That is only a begining you shorten it to: I will do any Paint any Car For $29.95.

I will get you out of grip of the IRS for $90.

I had so much business I gave that IRS one up. And have to have another.

Learn How to Get Our of the IRs Grip call 555-5555

I hope this helps.

Last edited by GordonJ : April 1, 2007 at 11:22 AM.
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  #8  
Old April 6, 2007, 09:19 AM
Joetrevison
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: USP Help continued...

I found a source of people that owed taxes and send a letter with the headline. I only wanted people that owed more than "$10,000 so I had to limit the list when I got it. The list only cost $26. And I made money. But I am only one person so it was difficult. And even though tv saids they can get you paying off on the dollar sometimes it is impossible.

If people own property and businesses it is very difficult working out agreements. IRS wants their money and they will get it even if the wait until you die.
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