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Business lessons from a drug dealer

By TIM COE Published 26th Apr 2014
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It's 99.7% pure and it's blue

Walter White and Jessie Pinkman maybe not be names you recognise. If they are you'll have watched the TV series 'Breaking Bad'. Although the hit sensation has never been shown here in the UK, when actor Aaron Paul [Jessie Pinkman] appeared on Top Gear in February 2014 the live audience whooped and hollered like he was a household name.

The plot is about a chemistry teacher needing to pay for his cancer treatment who decides to use his skills to manufacture a superior quality drug. He also makes it blue and clear, like blue glass. Now, the purest, strongest and bluest 'crystal' on the streets of Albuquerque demands the highest price ever known and everyone wants it. Along with his ex-chemistry class pupil, who is the link into the drug world, the two most unlikely of business partners sell all they can manufacture. Wouldn't you just love to sell all you can make, or deliver?

Breaking Bad has a strong business lesson. If you make something, in this case methamphetamine, so differently to the other choices available to your intended customers, you can become the undisputed market leader. In this case, you could charge up to double what your rivals do.  White and Pinkman had a strong USP, "Buy our one-of-a-kind blue crystal meth and get a much longer lasting, higher high."

 

Why don't more companies selling legal products and services have a USP?

We all seem to appreciate what a USP is, an Utterly Seductive Proposal of course. No? You haven't heard that definition before? Well, call it a unique selling point or proposition if you like to be sold to and buy points. No thank you. I would much prefer to buy from someone offering me an Utterly Seductive Proposal.

Regardless of the definition, we're talking about 15 words, approximately, that when rolled into one or two sentences, give a compelling and powerful reason why your ideal target client should buy from YOU over any of your competitors. Make it logical, emotional, about a technical superiority, a speed of delivery advantage, a zero risk, a guarantee, innovation, a manufacturing process, taste, location or in the case of our TV crime drama above, a longer lasting high...having a distinctive way people can remember you and talk about you is key to your business survival long term.

 

The most influential business choice you could ever make

A USP will decide whether people buy from you……or not. If that is the case why don't more small businesses ensure they own a unique core differentiator and announce their flagship headline on all their marketing tools, tangible and digital? The answer is probably because there are just enough buyers to just keep the bank account ticking over, just enough new sales enquiries to keep them thinking they are doing something right and just enough overall business activity to make the owner think that he or she is running a successful concern. Well, I have news, and it is not good news; THIS WILL NOT LAST.

 

What if I carry on in business with no USP?

Whatever good luck got you to this point will eventually run out. Whatever market conditions prevail today will surely change tomorrow, or the next day figuratively speaking.  There will be nothing you can do to avoid this potential Armageddon either. It might be another 2008 global meltdown, it might be a superior competitor opening up next door to you or it might even be something such as your best customer deserting you. Either way, you income will drop and your overheads will remain the same or potentially increase.

When you start losing money you inevitably become desperate. The most common knee-jerk reaction panic measure is to slash prices hoping it will attract higher sales. How will that help? Your costs to deliver more output will increase and additionally, you'll now be viewed as a lower value company. The answer is never to lower your prices. If what you charge has to be adjusted then it has to be just one way…an increase.

The only way to win in business long-term is to be one-of-a-kind, incomparable, exclusive and on another level. But to achieve this you must have high value genuine reasons for your ideal target clients to buy from you and not your rivals. But not just buy from you, I want your clients buying from you repeatedly, forever ideally. This is when you have an Utterly Seductive Proposal working for you creating lifetime customers.

Walter White's [Breaking Bad's main protagonist] manufacturing process was precise, highly practised, by the end of the season 6, and refined beyond anything anyone else has ever seen. He was famous for it in the drug underworld of New Mexico...and he knew it! Your job is to outshine your competition to the extent your prospects can only see you as the logical choice when it comes to investing their precious cash.

 

How do you get hold of your own USP?

It’s a thought process that starts with answering these questions. Do that, give it 30-60 minutes, and you'll be most of the way there:

  1. Define exactly who your ideal target client is
  2. What are the top 3-5 benefits of doing business with you?
  3. How do you deliver value in a way no one else does?
  4. If I am your ideal target client what should I buy from you over anyone else?
  5. What is that only you can do?

The answers will point in the right direction. Make a list from each question. Then take the top 20% of answers when it comes to uniqueness and make another list. What are the best points from that second list i.e. refine your list looking for the highest value ideas people will pay for. That's your gold and what you should be shouting from the rooftops about. When you have 2-3 points left roll these into your USP affirmation statement and you should have a marketing gem that will keep you ahead of your competition.

Do not worry about making the reason people should buy from you too specific. This is the objective. If you try to please all the people all the time you'll please no one. Decide on a small market niche and aim to totally dominate it.

Whether your business is legal or not, drug trade or not, make damn sure you have a powerful reason why your ideal target clients should buy from you over any of your competitors!

Tim Coe

25.4.14

For further explanations on this subject and process visit: www.myusp.biz/book

 

Unique Views: 1401 | Total Page Views: 1762
181 weeks ago, by James
This helps me to get much closer to your key proposition, Tim. In order to succeed in a crowded, noisy marketplace you have to define with absolute clarity what you can do for someone so that they can grasp it within a few seconds. I completely agree with that.
181 weeks ago, by Tim
That's it James. Prospects being time poor and choice rich haven't the patience to pour over your website or marketing materials searching for reasons to buy. Hit them with your best shot immediately...or say goodbye to them, probably forever.
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