I have a friend who's owned a recording studio for about two years. A couple months back, we were discussing how he could bring more clients through the door. "Precious Gem Tuesdays," I shouted, forgetting that he'd actually have to buy a whole mess of rubies to give away.
We talked about marketing and eventually got on the topic of his unique selling proposition.
"There are three or four other studios in town that do the same type of work you do," I reminded him. "Aside from your clean bathroom, what reason does anyone have to choose yours?"
He stared at me, breathing through his open mouth.
As is so often the case with business owners, he was stumped when it came to defining what he does and the way it's different from how the guy down the street does it. So, I suggested surveying his existing clients.
I composed an email with 6 or 7 questions that were designed to solicit his client's true feelings about my pal and his studio. The response rate was great. And by analyzing the answers, we were able to find three very strong reasons why nearly every one of his clients keeps coming back.
The answers to "who are you" and "what do you do" - his unique selling proposition - became clear in the replies to that short email survey. And because the feedback came from a large sample of actual clients, we were able to trust that the written USP we developed could be trusted as accurate by his new and potential clients.