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Making the most of your unique selling points

Being of an age that puts me firmly in the BBC Radio 2 demographic, I find I’m enjoying listening to many of the same DJs that I did while growing up with Radio 1. And, indeed, much of the same music. Not all programmes, mind; I generally find Steve Wright’s Sunday love songs a little syrupy for my tastes. I made an exception last weekend, however, given that I was taking Mrs Simms into the country for a pleasant Sunday luncheon. Steve Wright seemed to be setting the tone perfectly. 

That didn’t mean odd little things didn’t irritate me, of course. In particular, the number of men who left dedications for their partners saying they loved them more than their partners would ever know. What’s the point of that, I wondered. Surely it would be best to give your partner a good idea of how much you loved them, rather than leaving them to guess. 

I mentioned this to Mrs Simms, who said: “If I had been led to believe you loved me this much,” separating her hands by about 30cm, “I’d actually be quite annoyed to hear that you actually loved me this much,” (her hands were now 60cm apart), “without ever seeing any demonstration of it. For all you know, this much,” (30cm), “might have been barely adequate to maintain the relationship over the years. To discover I could have had this much,” (60cm), “might end up being the final nail in the coffin rather than something that cemented the relationship.”

The ever-pragmatic Mrs Simms made a further point. “Suppose I thought you loved me this much,” (30cm), “when actually you loved me this much,” (60cm). “My first question would be: what scale are you using? Is this much,” (60cm) “really enough in a market where this much,” (arms at full extension) “is the expectation? In that case, even this much,” (60cm) “is poor in comparison with your competitors.”

I wasn’t aware of any competitors in the relationship until this point, but since then I’ve been looking at one or two supposed friends with a wary suspicion.

But I feel I have learnt important lessons from the debate. First, if your business, services or products offer real benefits to your customers or end-users, then make absolutely sure they know about them, because your customers may well be hoping for more. Certainly your competitors won’t be shy in coming forward if they can offer the benefits your customers might be missing, and everybody wants to be made to feel special. Further, if you have USPs that set you apart in the market, then shout it from the rooftops. This could mean the difference between cementing a relationship or losing the customer. Finally, from my own limited experience, if you can round off discussions with a splendid Sunday luncheon, so much the better.

Mark Simms, Editor

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