Every company has its strengths and weaknesses, yet some business owners spend so much time trying to eliminate the weaknesses that they never capitalize on their strengths. Take the time to identify your company’s unique selling proposition — what makes you different from the competition? Your competitive edge might be something as complex as offering customized, state-of-the-art technological solutions or as simple as having warm, friendly employees. Failing to communicate the attributes that make your business special is like entering a boxing ring with one hand tied behind your back. You might come out a winner, but the odds are against it. Inviting employees from every level of your company, hold some brainstorming sessions to come up with your USP. It should be a powerful, concise statement that customers and prospects understand. Ask the following four questions:
1. What elements make our products or services unique?
2. Which elements are most important to our growth?
3. Which elements are the most difficult for our competitors to copy?
4. What is the number one reason customers should buy from us?

Separate Yourself From the Pack
An office equipment retailer appeared to be doing everything right. It offered 24-hour service on all business machines sold or leased, free loaners when equipment was being repaired, and renewal of maintenance contracts for as long as customers owned or leased the machines. No other retailer in the area matched these perks, yet the company was being hit hard by rivals. Long-time customers took the service policies for granted and prospects never learned about them. Even some of the company’s employees didn’t understand how special and valuable the service policies were. Eventually, the CEO recognized the problem and worked with his managers, employees and advisors to identify the company’s unique selling proposition (USP): those great equipment maintenance and repair services! Today, customers and prospects are given detailed information about the retailer’s unmatched services along with descriptions of its stellar product line.
Discovering its USP let the company separate itself from the pack in its race for more market share. The process turned out to be a real morale builder for employees, too.

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