Developing a Unique Selling Proposition AKA Differentiate Yourself

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Mower For Less, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 823

    Alright, maybe I'm being to hard on myself. I've read enough marketing books to be dangerous to myself, and have a perfectionist personality that pick apart most great ideas I come up with. Sometimes this keeps me out of trouble, but other times it stifles my creative thinking. I've been hammering myseld over the head for the last 2 years trying to figure out what makes me different from the competition. Not just different, but better even. I come up with several of our good qualities, but none of them seem important enough to be called unique. For example, We maintain our equipment, mow on schedule, have a pleasant uniformed crew, and do quality work, etc. Whoo Hooo!?! In all honestly, so does at least 50% of the competition. Thats not where I try to start to differentiate myself, and perhaps thats my mental block. But I want to go beyond that, even if its something I need to start doing that I dont do already. Something so special that I can use it in all of my marketing pieces, and even if the competition see's it will go "Wow, I wish I woulda though of that". But I havent had that magical idea yet.

    So how do you differentiate yourself? What is it that you do that nobody else does?

    Hoping at least one of you can ignite a spark to get me in the right direction.

    Thanks,
    Kevin
     
  2. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    Hey Kevin, Around here there are a lot of companies that are doing just what you stated, so its getting tougher to find new customers every year it seems. I think a key to being successful is to continually advertise. Keep your name fresh in the minds of potential customers. Just keep stressing your professionalism and services you offer. Offer a "once in a lifetime deal" to some of your newer customers like mulch at half off, or a half off mowing special if they sign by xyz date. And stress to them that this is a "once in a lifetime deal" that way they'll be sure to talk about it to other's. I was supposed to weed a flowerbed for a lady last year but it was easier to just create a new flowerbed, I told her just that, "Mrs.So-in-so, I'll make you this great offer, we'll create a whole new bed for the same price as weeding" and so on, she was so ecstatic about it, she told her sister, neighbor's ect.
     
  3. PGA

    PGA LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 710

    The only thing I have going for me that is different from most companies that I can really sell on is the fact I work by myself and I tell the customer that I will ALWAYS be the one on their yard so if they have any questions it wont be hard to find me and they wont be talking to some guy who doesnt know whats going on with the company.

    Most people respond to that fairly well.
     
  4. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    PGA that is actually a great selling point ... I have had alot of customers or even potential customers ask if I am on the property every time

    Fore me the way I am heading this is not possible BUT it is a great selling point for the solo or 1 man crew

    Fore me my best sell is word of mouth & customer referrals .... providing a consistent service which is reliable each n every visit .... we stay on time almost to the point of same hour each week

    Using the same crew leader as well as crew members on that customer yard .... they get use to the leader n can ask him questions or give input ... recieve a reply on the spot or I give em a call withing 24 hours

    We try to do as we say n say as we do ....
     
  5. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812


    Get a triple canary yellow crew cab with reflective big red letters. You will get notice before anybody.

    Then you get into the door and make your sale.
     
  6. chimmygew

    chimmygew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 576

    I use a customer referral program. It has really taken off. I give a discount to my customer for every referral they give that signs up. The new customer also gets a discount on their first cut.
     
  7. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I agree. Sometimes thinking outside of the box is great, but often it's the 'inside the box' common sense thinking that works best.

    A lot of thought and effort seems to go into attracting new clients. But that's only part of the game. Keeping customers, improving efficiency, improving cashflow, eliminating accounts receivables are extremely important, but somehow not as "sexy" as thinking up a flashy new advertising idea.
     
  8. Killswitch

    Killswitch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 438

    Im a one man crew as well and use that to my advantage. It has its drawbacks though. Some people worry about reliablity, but thats overcome with performance and time.

    People worry what happens if you get terribly ill or injured. I worry about it too.
     
  9. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 823

    The closest one to getting what Im saying is PGA, but I'm not trying to be a solo op, so thats not the direction I want to go. I'm not talking about referral programs, word of mouth advertising, customer retention, or big yellow trucks. Im talking about a tangible benefit, one that can be put in writing, incorporated into an advertising campaign, and be used as an ingredient in a company mission statement. A Unique Selling Proposition.

    Advertising frequency is not the issue either, You can advertise everyday in every medium available to you. WHAT are you going to say in that ad? WHAT is it that you do DIFFERENTLY?

    What is it about your company that allows you to beat out your competition BESIDES price or word of mouth?

    What is it that allows you to bid 20% or more higher than the competition, and win the bid? This is what I want to put my finger on. I know that I have it, or at least I am on the verge of having it, I just cant name it. I dont know what to call it.

    Kevin
     
  10. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812


    Dude

    Your in a business that you are dealing with 16 year olds and people that do it part time and pay no taxes.


    Find something better that you need an education for.

    And for your info the big yellow truck works.
     

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