USP is so Passé, What’s Your SSP?

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Forget Unique Selling Point, what's the Story Selling Point for your business?

If you’ve ever been to any business workshops or events the chances are that at some point someone has asked you “What’s your USP?” (Unique Selling Point).

I’ve always hated that question. Not because I couldn’t fudge some satisfactory answer to it, but because it’s meaningless.

Of course, you’re unique, you’re a human!

Unless you’ve invented something ground-breaking, most of us can’t honestly say that our business and the work we do is completely unique. It’s hard to even say we do things in a unique way; just by the law of averages and attrition, the chances are, someone else, somewhere in the world, does what you do and does it in a similar way.

The only thing you can absolutely, 100% guarantee, that’s unique about your business is YOU; and the thing that makes you YOU is your STORY.

No two people’s stories are ever the same, even siblings will remember different things that impacted their lives, moments of joy and moments of despair. If you ever recount a childhood memory with a sibling, they will probably remember something different to you, because we all have different ways of perceiving things.

Those three letters U S P have been so overused in business now they have become a cliché; but when we ask someone that, what are we really asking?

We want to know why X business is different to Y business when on the face of it they seem to do the same thing.

Perhaps DSP (Different Selling Point) is more accurate? Perhaps we should be asking: “What’s your DSP?” At least that means something?

But it’s more than that, it’s your SSP – your Story Selling Point – that will keep people curious.

A truly compelling story will provoke an emotional reaction from us. Whether the story makes us laugh, makes us cry, makes us empathise and feel as though the storyteller is speaking directly to our own hearts – if we react, we act.

A good story has a character, an action and a resolution; a great story has heroes and villains, it has conflict, it has us rooting for the hero, it has thrills and spills and, I know it’s a cheesy, but it has a happy ending, where our protagonist improves or grows themselves in some way (beat the bad guys, save the world).

The problem with USP and DSP is that both are about you and your business, rather than the people that turn your brilliant idea into an actual business – your customers.

The story of your business is not just a sequence of events that got you from idea to market – customers want to know what’s at the heart of your business.

What compels you?

What moves you?

What was it that sent you down the path you find yourself on and where are you going from here?

Was there a single inciting incident somewhere in your past that motivated, inspired, scared or encouraged you?

That’s the story of your business and the key to finding your Story Selling Point (SSP) to draw in the curious, start a conversation and build the relationship so that they choose you and not an alternative service.

I’ve been writing and telling stories all my life, and they are at the heart of everything I do.

I now help small businesses write their way to success, by telling their story in their own words.

I’ve also written and published four thriller novels and have more on the way (did I mention.. I love a good story!):

Find Amy’s Books on Amazon


So what’s the story of your business? What’s your SSP?

Download the The Story Of Your Business Questionnaire and I’ll take you on a journey of self-discovery to draw out the story of your business and nail that SSP.

After all, people don’t just buy people, they buy stories.


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