A USP is NOT
a Challenger Insight
The CEB research clearly shows that Challenger Insights work.
However, few Salespeople are actually using them!
Let´s review briefly, what USP´s are:
“The Unique Selling Proposition (a.k.a. Unique Selling Point, or USP) is a marketing concept
that was first proposed as a theory to understand a pattern among successful advertising campaigns
of the early 1940s. It states that such campaigns made unique propositions to the customer and
that this convinced them to switch brands.
Marketing produces USP´s by the gazillion:
Faster, bigger, smaller, easier, cheaper, and on and on!
HOWEVER, do they work?
The Gas ‘free’ car
We have known for years, in Sales, that USP´s DO NOT SELL.
Rackham’s Research published as SPIN Selling devotes a chapter to it (Ch.9)
“The Myth and Magic” of the Initial Benefit Statement
and the USP in “Opening the Sale” is just another rod on Sale’s back!
“It’s the fastest on the Market!” offers the novice Salesperson.
“We do NOT need more SPEED, we need more reliability,
and faster usually means LESS RELIABILITY!” Retorts the cynical Customer.
This really is stepping off on the wrong foot,
from push “benefit” to Customer Objection in less than 10 seconds!
“We do not want your USP of speed;
we believe that might damage the reliability that we really need.”
The brochures promote SPEED, the adverts promote SPEED,
and the Call-centre is calling trying to book appointments for salespeople to talk about SPEED.
It is another failed Marketing Campaign, but Sales is going to get the blame.
“They didn't sell the USP: SPEED!” laments the CMO.
Opening the Sale refresher
How do we construct these Challenger Insights?
Get together with some customers, product specialists and ….
OK some marketing people
(but have an equal number of Salespeople present).
DO NOT let Marketing seize the White Board
or write-up the minutes of the meeting.
Have a Customer Engagement;
see their world through their eyes.
Ask Customers to design your next product,
or to modify your existing products.
Find out where “Speed”, size, or cost etc. is on their priority list.
From the meeting develop and test a variety of “insights”,
this is the beginning of Challenger Insights. (And the end of the USP! fiasco)