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"How To Corner Your Market And
Stop Worrying About Your Competition"

Adapted from Shirley Hanson's
"Marketing Energizer Ezine For Consultants
And Other Independent Professionals"
(copyright 2007)

"Today's world has no room for the ordinary."

"The fittest... must do more than simply stand out in a crowd if they wish to thrive in today's topsy turvy, ever changing times.

"They must be perceived as nothing less than Special.

One of a kind.

Unique.

“Being the only game in town is not an option or
luxury. It's a basic prerequisite for winning . . . it is the
single most important thing separating winners from
losers...."

So writes Dr. Lynda Falkenstein in her book Nichecraft.

We offer a program to help our clients discover their positioning. And it IS a process of unearthing the right message. Although we reviewed “Nichecraft” in 1999, we returned to take a second look at the special
insights in the book.

In this article we’ll add the “Nichecraft” approach to ours to lead you to the right positioning.

Dr. Falkenstein calls it a “niche.” This marketing tool goes back to Rosser Reeves in 1961, when he gave it the name we’re familiar with today: Unique Selling Proposition, or USP.

That’s “the art of getting your unique, distinguishing position into the minds of the most people in your target market at the lowest possible cost.

“You must create the right message and project it to the maximum number of people.”

We call the USP your “Unique Strategic Positioning”
because it goes deep to reflect the core of your
practice. It’s not a frill or embellishment.

Simply, it is the distinguishing advantage you offer that sets you apart from and above your competition.

We spend an immense amount of time with our clients in getting their positioning right because of its tremendous marketing energy. It’s a must-have because:

  • It prevents you from receding into the pack,
  • It eliminates the fatal flaw of being all things to all people,
  • It enables you to profit from your strengths,
  • It makes you magnetic so that you automatically attract the right people – whether quality leads or referrals, and
  • Your work becomes more fun.

The process to get you there may seem mysterious or challenging, but it’s worth it because at the end you stand alone as THE EXPERT. You arrive at a Category of One.

So Exactly What Is A “Niche?”

“Don’t just specialize, be special,” Dr. Falkenstein explains.

In our opinion, it’s the difference between being a run-of-the-mill asset protection attorney and being a specialist who put together a unique array of asset protection solutions (drawing on several fields) especially for physicians.

Then, you are “so tightly focused” that the right people seek you out. You are indispensable . . . not interchangeable.

So that’s a niche. What’s a “Good Niche?”

“Nichecraft” presents its answer:

1. It is intentional,
2. It takes you where you want to go,
3. Someone wants it – you have a receptive audience,
4. It has grow power – it may become the hub of a range of business activities, and
5. A “Good Niche” evolves.

And, we add, it distinguishes you from everyone else.

How To Discover Your Specialness In Your Story

Look for your specialness in the story that only you can tell. Some professionals are uncomfortable revealing themselves. They worry about being “unprofessional.”

If being “professional” means to be distant, anonymous, and private, give it up.

Recently, we worked with a financial advisor who presented a near-perfect picture of me-too-ism.

He grew up in a tough New York City neighborhood. Almost all of his peers are in jail or dead. Yet when we first met him, his biography consisted of something like this:

He was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from high school and went on to Queens College of The City University Of New York. He is currently licensed and practices in 18 states across
the country.

You get the idea.

To bring his life to life we asked questions such as:

- Why did you rise above the odds?
- How did you become a financial advisor?
- What does your life really mean for your clients?
- What are you most proud of?

That’s the story that only he can tell.

And something very important came out of his story. The personal quality prospects want most in their financial advisor is someone they can trust. That’s a quality our client’s story demonstrated again and again.

We emphasize the "specialness in your story" because everyone already has a story. You just need to bring it to light and polish it a bit.

Five More Prime Places To Uncover Your Uniqueness

Where else can you look?

1. Find Your USP In Your Target Market

Think of the asset protection attorney who targeted physicians.

2. Capitalize on Benefits

“Benefits unlock your business success and separate you from the me-too pack. “

- Doug Hall in one of our favorite books, Jump Start Your Business Brain.

Then, be sure you zero in on the right benefits, and they are the ones your prospects care about most.

3. Bring Out The Extras That Define You

One place to find specialness is in value added at no extra charge.

4. Name Your System Or Process

Naming your system or approach can engage your prospect’s imagination and triumph over boredom.

It enables your prospects to grasp your benefits immediately.

For example, we offer a “Leapfrog System” for discovering your USP. Mega marketer, Dan Kennedy, one of our personal coaches, provides a program called “The Renegade Millionaire.”

Our associate established “Webinar University” for professionals interested in webinars. A real-estate professional provides the “Coaching For Lifestyle” program.

5. A Blend Or Fusion USP

You can supercharge your USP when you combine more than one area of specialness. For instance, add a clearly defined target market to your special system.

Or fuse your story with key benefits. And, when you do, please add a third ingredient: your target market.

Try out your USP on your associates, colleagues, vendors, family, and friends. Take what you learn to heart and make it better.

Then, develop a plan to market your USP like crazy.

It’s never an end in itself. It’s a non-negotiable, must-have ingredient in your marketing strategy. Go on a marketing stampede to launch your uniqueness.

With a tip of our hat to Dr. Seuss, with your USP Oh, The Places Your Practice Will Go!

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Hanson Marketing Group, Inc.
Certified Professional Consultant to Management
8011 Navajo Street, Philadelphia, PA 19118
Phone: 215-753-2620 Fax: 215-753-9223
bhanson@hansonmarketing.com
www.hansonmarketing.com

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