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Old March 27, 2007, 08:01 PM
Duane Adolph Duane Adolph is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 152
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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