A different terminology – but an interesting look at building a Unique Selling Proposition backed up by a solid guarantee!

by Tom Poland www.8020center.com

When it comes to creating a controllable and predictable flow of new clients, having a great product is not enough. Sure, a great product and great service will help with word of mouth (WOM) marketing however WOM is neither controllable nor predictable.
And whilst receiving new business from unsolicited referrals is like an unexpectedly delightful cream on the cake it’s also random and unpredictable and they are not characteristics on which a business can sustain significant growth.
To create controllable and predictable growth you MUST systemize your marketing efforts.
That means getting your message out through multiple mediums, the nature of which will vary depending on a whole range of factors including the type of product/service you offer, your regional focus, your Ideal Client Profile, your budget and so on.
However, having got your message out systematically through multiple mediums you may still not succeed in either seizing the attention of your target market or converting them into paying clients.
The reason is simple and the mistake is littered across every marketing medium imaginable – television, radio, newspaper, magazines, Yellow Pages, brochures, billboards, email campaigns websites and to a lesser extent direct mail.
The mistake is this: a failure to create a message that cuts through the cluttered bombardment of marketing messages that your Ideal Client is subjected to an estimated 3,000 times a day (source: www.answers.google.com).
With that sort of machine gunning of messages it’s no wonder that our clients and prospects aren’t noticing, let alone reading, your marketing messages.
In February I put on an online event called “Ten ‘Million Dollar’ Marketing Secrets”.
In it I talked about the “Bold Promise” and I believe that this concept holds the key to grabbing your prospect’s attention and eliciting an enquiry from them. What happens after that is over to the quality of your sales processes and products and service.
But for an estimated 90% plus of business owners the hardest part of gaining new clients is simply getting the value proposition in front of them so the business can “strut its stuff”.
Is that true of you? Do you get the deal and make the sale perhaps 50 – 70% of the time that you present your value proposition to a client? Perhaps it’s only 25 – 50% of the time but nevertheless it still adds up to this: somehow you need to figure out how to get your Ideal Clients’ attention in the face of what is now both an online and offline storm of marketing messages.
My idea about the power of the Bold Promise is this: begin by examining what it is your Ideal Clients really, truly, deeply want and/or what they really truly, deeply want to avoid.
In the context of your Ideal Client’s experience of your industry, ask yourself these questions:
  • What really annoys them?
  • What deeply frustrates them?
  • What do they truly hate having to do?
  • What do they hate having to experience?
  • If they had a magic wand, what would they wish for?
  • And the most powerful one of them all: what emotion do they want to feel?

Once you have the answers to this question then you have the raw ingredients for creating your Bold Promise.
For example: Tom Monaghan bought a second hand pizza store in 1960 and in 1967 he launched the franchise into a market place that included over 200 other franchised home delivery pizza offerings. That’s massive competition not only to get pizza into the mouths of Ideal Clients who were spoiled for choice and were notorious price shoppers but also competition for new franchisees.
However they went from almost zero market share to the second largest home delivery pizza business in the world and their success is due in part, I believe, to the creation of their Bold Promise.
I can still vividly recall home delivery pizza before Dominos invaded our country. At the time my wife and I both worked full time and we had three to five kids at home (depending on foster kids and who was moving out or moving back) and so Sunday night was often pizza night.
So around five in the afternoon we’d start thinking about dinner and naturally the kids wanted some form of fast food. We didn’t live near any outlets and it was easy just to pick up the phone and get some pizza in.
So we’d take the orders from our excited kids and one of the older ones would feverishly place the phone order and then the wait began.
Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza, in his first restaurant in the early 1960s
Typically we’d be told to expect the pizza in around 30 minutes so at around the 50 minute mark we’d call again and be told that the pizza was on its way which was almost always a lie and so with me getting scratchy and the kid’s blood sugar levels dropping and fights breaking out all over we’d call back another couple of times, start thumping the table and the pizza would arrive … flaccid and lukewarm; definitely not fresh or hot.
So if you read the above mentioned questions it’s not hard to figure out why Dominos were so extraordinarily successful “Delivered hot and fresh in 30 minutes or your don’t pay”.
Did you notice how they guaranteed their Bold Promise? That makes it significantly more powerful and it’s an area where most business owners wimp out on.
So if creating a Bold Promise is such an effective strategy, how come everyone is not using it? Fair question but perhaps the more important question is why aren’t YOU using it?
Well for starters you may have only just read about it expressed in this way.
But now that you’re aware of it there are still going to be a series of obstacles for you to overcome prior to creating, implementing and then profiting from your own Bold Promise.
Here are several of the obstacles in rough order of the sequence in which you will face them:
  • Obstacle #1: Taking the time out to complete the answers to the questions I’ve listed above and then coming back to them several times to dig deeper and refine them.
  • Obstacle #2: Having confidence in your own latent creative ability to use your answers and come up with a clear and compelling Bold Promise a.k.a. Customer Value Statement.
  • Obstacle #3: Having the courage to guarantee the value delivery inherent in your Bold Promise without wimping out by diluting the guarantee or adding so many weasel-out clauses that the credibility and the power of the Bold Promise is destroyed.
  • Obstacle #4: Re-engineering your “back room” so that you can deliver on the Bold Promise – I’ll explain more after the next point.
  • Obstacle #5: Shouting your Bold Promise and guarantee from the roof tops … on your website, in your Yellow Pages advert, in your brochures, on your business card, in direct mailers and email campaigns.

Sorting out the back room
When Tom Monaghan came up with this Bold Promise he also had to figure out how the heck he was going to get pizzas out to the suburbs in less than 30 minutes when it took 3 minutes to make the pizza and 20 minutes to cook the thing. That left roughly 6.9 minutes for delivery!
Likewise in 1982 in a similarly crowded and fiercely competitive industry, courier delivery, FedEx cut through the clutter of marketplace messages with “When it absolutely, positively must be there overnight”.
In both the Dominos and FedEx examples they had to radically re-engineer their back room processes and structures so that they could deliver on the promise.
And both cases are the opposite of what most businesses do which is to start with the question of how to sell more product whereas both Dominos and FedEx started with market place needs and then changed their product to meet those needs.
So back to you.  Figure out what the Specific Unmet Need (SUN) is in your market place, create a Bold Promise that highlights your ability to meet that need. Then add a guarantee and start singing and dancing about it!
I strongly recommend that you schedule in your system, 8 x one hour meetings with yourself spread over the next 8 weeks and to be taken at your favourite café on your way to work. Your mission at those meetings is to create your Bold Promise and a plan to promote it.
One gram of good strategy always beats a ton of hard work. The Bold Promise is one such gram.

Leave a Reply