In the “old economy,” the consumer buying model had 3 easy steps.
Step 1: Your prospect was influenced by your advertising.
Step 2: Your prospect deliberated and considered whether or not the product was right for them.
Step 3: They made a decision to purchase.
This is how consumers purchased, and the funnel that marketers used to develop their strategies was pretty simple…
Unfortunately, many marketers are still using the old funnel – and missing out on today’s opportunities.
This offers an advantage to
Strategic Entrepreneurs like you.
Or that 79% of consumers now say they use a smartphone to help with shopping?
Or that 83% of moms say they do online research after seeing TV commercials for products that interest them?
In today’s new buying funnel, we still have steps 1-3… however, two more integral steps have been added.
They are: “investigation” and “conversation” (sometimes in reverse order).
Investigation is when consumers jump on the internet to read reviews, review product comparisons, look for alternatives, etc.
Conversation happens on social media. They’re jumping on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, forums, and blogs to gather others opinions before making a purchase.
For example: when my third baby was on the way, Heather and I invested in a new infant car seat.
Instead of the “old way” of walking into the baby store (which we did for my first two children), talking to a sales clerk, and asking them what car seat is best – today, we’re armed with information.
For starters, Heather jumped on Facebook to ask her friends for car seat recommendations…
While waiting for a response, she surfed over to Amazon.com, looking to read reviews. Then she visited various “mommy sites” and forums to see what other people are saying about their car seats.
All together, she narrowed it down to 3-4 car seats she liked best.
She compared the features, quality, and price of each car seat, and finally, evaluated the best vendor (based on guarantee, convenience, and price) and made the purchase…
…all without talking to one sales person!!
Times have changed since the consumer simply opened up the Yellow Pages or flipped open the newspaper to choose a prospective candidate, based largely on the most engaging advertisement.
In today’s New Economy, your customers have more access to information than ever before. They’ve got social media, review sites, competitor information, a slew of alternative products, and hundreds of media exposures throughout an average day.
Your customers have information, and more often than not, they know more about your business, product, and the available options than most business owners…
The power has shifted to the buyers from the sellers.
But why are so many people actively looking for information before making a purchase?
Simply put, people want to make smarter buying decisions!
In the process of satisfying those buying decisions, a strategy like The Differentiator Gap™ can help you position your business as being different.
But for now, we’re talking about a strategy for positioning your company that goes above and beyond any of our other strategies.
The Unique Advantage Point™
For those of you who are familiar with the term Unique Selling Proposition, you’ll find this discussion vaguely familiar. In fact, that’s the birthplace of The Unique Advantage Point™ concept – except for one critical difference.
A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a unique characteristic that makes your business different from all other competitors – very powerful.
The Unique Advantage Point™ (UAP) is the distinguishing advantage that makes your company unique, special, and more compelling to your clients.
The USP focuses on being different… the UAP is focused on offering a unique advantage.
When I travelled with Tony Robbins, he said the difference between slicing the ball on a golf course and truly hitting a line drive to the greens is often a matter of a two-millimeter difference in the way you strike the ball…
This is precisely what we’re talking about with The Unique Advantage Point™.
One of the key tenets of building a solid platform for generating predictable profits is The Growth Factor™, which is the steadfast belief that:
The purpose of your business is to create the greatest advantage or benefit possible, to get your customers closer to the ultimate result they are after...
The unique advantage is a subset of The Growth Factor™, and answers the big “reason why” a customer should be doing business with you – instead of doing business with anyone else.
Your USP could be selling your product for less than any other company (generally a terrible long term strategy… but we’ll save that for another discussion), your UAP could be something entirely different, such as: “24 hour LIVE customer service” or “lifetime service guarantee.”
The UAP focuses on a unique advantage, rather than simply a unique characteristic.
Marketing legend Jay Abraham says that, until you can establish your unique advantage clearly to your prospects, “you have nothing special to offer anyone.”
In order for me to see your product/service as special, you need to tell me why – in a way that distinguishes you from all your competition and all of the alternatives available to me.
One of my favorite UAPs comes from Zappos. It’s “Free Shipping and Free Returns 365 days a Year” – other competitors give you 30 days or free shipping one way… Zappos gives you a year, plus free shipping. And, because Zappos is so committed to The Growth Factor™, they have many UAPs – exceptional, “Wow!” service being one of them.
This is why the Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, could walk into a highly saturated, competitive industry and blaze his way toward becoming a billion dollar company!
Notice that Zappos doesn’t believe their UAP should be anything about price. Instead, Zappos knows price-sensitive customers have the lowest retention and the biggest headaches, so they positioned themselves as an option for people who value “Wow!” service and experience over price.
…And Zappos UAP is precisely the nucleus that the entire business was created around.
The Unique Advantage Point™ is also dynamic, meaning it’s quick to adapt to a changing environment in order to stay on top of its unique advantage.
Sure, Domino’s Pizza had a great UAP with “Fresh Hot Pizza Delivered to Your Door in 30 Minutes or Less or It’s Free,” but the moment every other pizza store started offering delivery service, Domino’s no longer had a unique advantage.
It’s wasn’t unique, and it was no longer an advantage.
And over the last few years, it’s been a long road for Domino’s trying to reinvent the company – because they’ve become lost in a deep blue ocean of Me-Too Competitors.
…But developing a UAP is not something you just do overnight. It takes time.
It’s something we’re continuously revising and improving upon.
The UAP for The Predictable Profits Insiders’ Club is:
When I walk into a room of entrepreneurs and give them my UAP, they take notice – and it immediately makes the Insiders’ Club different from anything else on the market (as far as I know, I’m the only person offering such a bold guarantee on a monthly subscription).
It’s only because I know this stuff works.
Sure, some people (who most likely didn’t take the information seriously) will take advantage of my offer (no one has yet!) – but you better believe that each time I create content or strategies for my Insiders’ Club Members, I sure as heck make sure I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if an entrepreneur properly applied the strategies I share, they should be able to make far beyond 100 times their investment… and ideally, multiples thereof…
But I can’t be that crazy…
Other people have taken on a lot more risk than me – just look at L.L. Bean’s UAP.
In fact, it’s such a compelling UAP, I would buy from L.L. Bean before buying from any of their competitors when looking for a similar product.
When you buy from L.L .Bean, it’s “Shipped for Free. Guaranteed to Last™”
You can return any product at any time – even if it’s 50 years from now – if you’re not 100% satisfied with your purchase.
Talk about bold.
But UAPs have to be bold. They have to be different. They have to stop people in their busy lives and get them to take notice.
L.L. Bean offers such a strong UAP, it makes you to wonder:
“Why wouldn’t I buy from this company?”
That’s the exact same response we want your customers to have when they look at your UAP.
Another example comes from an electrician, Nate Moss, of Moss Electric. A common mistake for an electrician is to think of themselves as special, just because they offer “24 hour service, 7 days a week.”
But Nate recognized that this alone didn’t make him special, so he did something different and said his unique advantage was that he “specialized in old homes.”
Just making that one distinct change in his marketing – in a community largely populated by homes built in the 1800s and early 1900s – skyrocketed Nate’s business growth by several hundred percent.
My assistant Mike is a rockstar (literally and figuratively), and after he read this article, he said: “Zildjian Cymbals has a great UAP – at nearly 400 years old, they are one of the longest running companies in the world, and perfected a method for creating modern cymbals as we know them – to the point where every other cymbal maker in the world uses the methods Zildjian developed.”
Definitely a unique advantage.
To help you discover your own Unique Advantage Point, I’ve created a worksheet for you.
In your corner,