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Old 11-28-2016, 02:35 AM   #1
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Default Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

I am trying to figure out a good USP for a residential painting contractor and am having trouble grasping this whole idea.. Does anyone out there have one they use? For anyone who doesn't know what a USP is, check out How to Find your USP and this one for examples.
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:55 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by csbeepee View Post
I am trying to figure out a good USP for a residential painting contractor and am having trouble grasping this whole idea.. Does anyone out there have one they use? For anyone who doesn't know what a USP is, check out How to Find your USP and this one for examples.
Haven't had to utilize that method, especially since I'm not a business owner or estimator, but a couple things come to mind. What about "1 free touch up within a year, up to 4 hrs labor"..one surface only like trim, or walls, or siding.

Or, "one free accent wall color, labor only"

Just brainstorming...
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Old 11-29-2016, 01:06 AM   #3
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It's much harder than one would think... Thanks for the ideas!
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:16 AM   #4
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Make a list of what us unique about your company. Guarantee, employees, pricing, etc....
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:07 PM   #5
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Yeah it's difficult to offer free things as a promotion in this business. I mean you see 10% or 20% off all the time but what does that really mean? People don't know your prices. I don't think that works because everyone does it. It''s a gimmick.

I was thinking about teaming up with a carpet cleaner and offering a free carpet cleaning per room painted. That would be up to a $200 value to some.

One could also offer a free interior decorator consult. Most charge $100 or so for an hours work. Plenty of designers would work with ya. It's also a nice 'quid pro quo' partnership type of situation..
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:28 PM   #6
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My husband owns a carpet cleaning business here in VA, and I will tell you if you choose a reputable carpet cleaning company it would be a great joint venture for both of you.
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Old 12-01-2016, 12:44 AM   #7
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Yeah it's difficult to offer free things as a promotion in this business. I mean you see 10% or 20% off all the time but what does that really mean? People don't know your prices. I don't think that works because everyone does it. It''s a gimmick.

I was thinking about teaming up with a carpet cleaner and offering a free carpet cleaning per room painted. That would be up to a $200 value to some.

One could also offer a free interior decorator consult. Most charge $100 or so for an hours work. Plenty of designers would work with ya. It's also a nice 'quid pro quo' partnership type of situation..

Both great ideas! Have you gotten feedback on how you would be charged for either service? Figure out what your cost would be from the cleaner and tack that on each room??
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:50 AM   #8
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I'm curious as to why you're trying to come up with a USP? A little more insight into your business would be helpful. Commercial, residential, etc...


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Old 12-02-2016, 10:27 AM   #9
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The link is blocked at my work station, but I was able to read about USP on Wikipedia.

PT's history is built on a foundation of member's ideas concerning "differentiation". But nothing has ever stood out as unique, sustainable, or even game changing in my opinion. And that's probably because a painting service is neither looked at as some sort of sexy technological advancement, or a consumer cost saving enterprise like all of the major big box stores seem to be.

Nope. Painting will always be just a humble endeavor that requires nothing more than honesty, conscientiousness, and a strong back in order to appeal to the consumer. IMO.

I also believe that the internet age has nurtured an urgency to implement business ideas that perhaps facilitates expediency for large corporations, but can actually be a burden for small businesses. But I suppose something has to doll up those mom and pop sites saturating the web.
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:03 PM   #10
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Most painters don't like the idea of a USP because it forces you to decide on a niche. Instead of chasing down any potential job and "painting grass green if it makes money."
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Old 12-05-2016, 07:44 PM   #11
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Most painters don't like the idea of a USP because it forces you to decide on a niche. Instead of chasing down any potential job and "painting grass green if it makes money."
Wouldn't painting dead grass green be a niché?

Unlike iPods, ipads, and iphones, which act as a personally tailored device that interface an individual into a world of possibilities, painting is no more exotic than a janitorial service with a reach no more distant than local. Therefore, the real USP in painting is in maintaining its aesthetic value. Just like a janitorial service.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:01 AM   #12
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Yeah it's difficult to offer free things as a promotion in this business. I mean you see 10% or 20% off all the time but what does that really mean? People don't know your prices. I don't think that works because everyone does it. It''s a gimmick.

I was thinking about teaming up with a carpet cleaner and offering a free carpet cleaning per room painted. That would be up to a $200 value to some.

One could also offer a free interior decorator consult. Most charge $100 or so for an hours work. Plenty of designers would work with ya. It's also a nice 'quid pro quo' partnership type of situation..
I never use the term "free" in any of my literature because it attracts a clientele I'm not interested in. Instead I use the word "complimentary" when making an offer.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:24 AM   #13
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Wouldn't painting dead grass green be a niché?

Unlike iPods, ipads, and iphones, which act as a personally tailored device that interface an individual into a world of possibilities, painting is no more exotic than a janitorial service with a reach no more distant than local. Therefore, the real USP in painting is in maintaining its aesthetic value. Just like a janitorial service.
Thanks, CA, I think I just found our painting company's USP! Seriously. The language is clunky, but the concept is there: personally tailored...world of possibilities.

I think we limit ourselves when we view our chosen trade as "no more exotic than a janitorial service." That quickly becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:01 PM   #14
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Someone from the BBB called me earlier this week and during our conversation he asked what made my company unique. I told him if the scope of work and products used are the same, then not very much compared to other reputable painting companies.

Since I paint solo, I kinda think I'm the USP.


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Old 02-10-2017, 06:12 AM   #15
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My USP is ONE DAY Painting or its FREE (up to 1200sqft Walls Only). I gotta be a dumptruck to do that right? Well It's basically just an Alternate Bid with a increase in Labor. It started off as a joke when one of my guys showed me his phone and some scrub on Craigslist was charging $50 "any room". Ya it was a joke until I started getting replies. The ones who bite on this are convinced it can't be done and are looking to get it for free. Until they see 4-7 painters in there house ( >.< ) I ended up contacting the $50 a room guy and hired him as a helper. Either hire him or put him out of his misery lol
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:01 AM   #16
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Thanks, CA, I think I just found our painting company's USP! Seriously. The language is clunky, but the concept is there: personally tailored...world of possibilities.

I think we limit ourselves when we view our chosen trade as "no more exotic than a janitorial service." That quickly becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I just recently finished listening to Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, and your point is well taken. However, I would argue that in general, the painting vocation in and of itself is no more impressive than carpet installation, window dressing, cleaning services, etc. Especially when you pit it in competition with the variety of other consumer interests.

But how you envision and implement a mediocre vocation, can make the difference between struggle and wealth in my opinion.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:46 PM   #17
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I am trying to figure out a good USP for a residential painting contractor and am having trouble grasping this whole idea.. Does anyone out there have one they use? For anyone who doesn't know what a USP is, check out How to Find your USP and this one for examples.
This is a great topic, thank you for starting the conversation.

Brian Tracy puts it best; if your selling point is "quality of service" then you are just like the rest of them.

Our USPs:

1) Family friendly. Uniformed, screened non-smokers. We have a conduct policy and you can trust us inside your home and around your children.

2) Minimize inconvenience. We take care of everything. Color consult, move furniture, work around your schedule, vacuum and steam vac floors after the job, and whatever else is needed. Client's job is to approve colors and make payments.

3) Responsiveness. Emails & calls; instant replies 7 days a week.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:26 AM   #18
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I am not a painter, but the idea for USP is basic across most trades. I never miss an opportunity to ask a new customer how long ago was their last similar project, how well did it go, and what do they wish the previous contractor did differently.

Then ask bout their wilingness to pay a small premium for this premium service. Do this for a few months and look for trends, and cost effective methods to address the issues you uncover. Then build your USP based on that knowledge. Basically a USP is irrelevant if it does not appeal to your customer.
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Old 02-11-2017, 12:25 PM   #19
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I never miss an opportunity to ask a new customer how long ago was their last similar project, how well did it go, and what do they wish the previous contractor did differently.

...basically a USP is irrelevant if it does not appeal to your customer.
I think this is key. It is easy to make the mistake of perceiving things from our own point of view rather than the clients.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:58 AM   #20
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I am not a painter, but the idea for USP is basic across most trades. I never miss an opportunity to ask a new customer how long ago was their last similar project, how well did it go, and what do they wish the previous contractor did differently.

Then ask bout their wilingness to pay a small premium for this premium service. Do this for a few months and look for trends, and cost effective methods to address the issues you uncover. Then build your USP based on that knowledge. Basically a USP is irrelevant if it does not appeal to your customer.
That's on point. I will be doing a "closing survey" where I will incorporate those questions. I have, since first posting this thread, started to offer warranties up to 10 years. In my area, no one offers a warranty over 2 years, so this will set me apart. In time, I will have a more defined USP from the surveys.
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