What Makes You Unique?

Good Monday morning!  Today, I’d like to just get you to think about something for a minute, and then ask you….What make YOUR business unique?  And are you telling your potential buyers about it?


It never ceases to amaze me when someone contacts me about helping them with their business, and I ask them those two questions, how they can’t seem to answer the first one.


Seriously, before you even start developing your business — or building your website — or writing a single word of salescopy — you should have been able to clearly articulate what the heck makes YOU different from your competition!


Or using proper marketing mumbo jumbo: “What’s your unique selling proposition, or ‘USP’?”


I know I know… “I ONLY represent buyers…” or, “I help buyers save money on their home purchase…”  or even worse, “We help buyers get the best price on a home…” or “We offer the best service to home buyers, period”…. blah-blah-blah..


Let me blunt: none of those USPs work.  I’ll tell you why in a moment, but first — do you want to hear something ironic?


Big brand companies have abused many of these USPs to the point where potential customers have become desensitized to them. “Low price!” or “Best quality!” ads no longer grab people’s attention or give them a unique, believable reason to use your service.


Here is the quick and dirty of it: If you want to be really successful you need to stand out from the crowd by offering a USP that’s truly different… something your competition just can’t claim.


(And in hindsight, you’ll know you did it right when your competitors scramble to catch up by offering the same USP. But they won’t sound as believable — because you’re the one who offered it first!)


To get your creative juices flowing, here are some famous USPs that have played a pivotal role in the success of their organizations:

  • Fedex – “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight!”
  • Domino’s Pizza – “Hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes — or it’s free!”
  • M&M’s – “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
  • Wonder Bread – “It helps build strong bones 12 ways.”
  • Head & Shoulders – “You get rid of dandruff!”
  • Olay – “You get younger-looking skin!”
  • Red Bull – “You get stimulation of body and mind!”


Take note that these are all clear, to-the-point messages conveying a simple idea that differentiates their product from everyone else’s. And most importantly, they’re believable


So what is your USP? What makes you different from your competitors — in ten words or less — and gives your customers a powerful, compelling reason to use your service?


Post your USP as a comment here on my blog… I’d love to hear about it!  And maybe you can get some ideas from others who post a comment here.  Go ahead… post your USP as a comment.  If you don’t post, that tells me you probably don’t have one.  And if you don’t, then SHAME ON YOU.  Maybe you need to re-think your USP… if so… post that too.  C’mon…  it won’t hurt you to share your USP with everyone here.  I promise. 🙂


Have a great week.  I look forward to reading your USP.



Guard Your Wallet!

As we get closer and closer to the end of another year, I come to you today NOT to try and sell you anything (you guys know I very rarely ever do that anyway)… but to warn you to “GUARD YOUR WALLET!”


There are several things circulating around the Internet right now that you may or may not have received notice of.  This post is in case you HAVE received one or more email’s from marketers promoting these things, as well as for those of you who may NOT have gotten word of these promotions making their rounds right now. 


First of all… Web 2.0


Most everyone who is on any major marketer’s email list has been hit with the latest and greatest thing called “Web 2.0”  You need to pay CLOSE attention here.  Are you ready?


The phrase “Web 2.0” was most likely invented by some marketing guru in an attempt to get you to buy something!.. and from what I am seeing… it was a job pretty well done… I have to give him (or her) that.  Regardless.. I am here to tell you… (in my humble opinion)… “Web 2.0” is pretty much a bunch of marketing hype right now.  There may be SOME validity to some of the hype, but it’s mostly fluff.


Why?  Because nobody really knows what it is they are talking about, at least not in the circles I hang with.  Enough on “Web 2.0”  For the time being, suffice it to say, “Ed recommends YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR MONEY IN YOUR WALLET!”


The second warning pertains to another big new idea that is being pushed around the net right now.  I’ve gotten at least 15 email’s over the past few days from every major Internet Marketer out there… amazingly ALL using the same canned pre-written email, telling everyone about the new “Pipeline Profits” program.


First of all… What is it?  Bottom line:  It’s about using co-registration leads to build massive lists and to market your products or services to those leads in a systematic approach.


Co-Registration is a very common technique used by marketers and even major corporations.  When you sign up for something online, and there’s a bunch of boxes you can check for more information on this or that — THAT’S Co-Registration.  A good example is seen when you go and sign up for a HOTMAIL email account (which everyone knows I would NEVER recommend you do!).. but you get the idea.


Does it work?  Yes and no.  If you have seen the Pipeline Profits video, you’ll see that these guys grossed over $1 million dollars in 90 days… so obviously it works.  On the other hand.. it has some serious problems.  In my opinion, most emails that get sent to co-registration leads are spam, or at least LOOK spammy… and even if you’re not sending spam, you WILL be accused of it.


I think there is tremendous risk in using co-registration.  Consider how it works.  You get a bunch of names and email addresses (and IP addresses which supposedly makes it legal).  You’ve never met these people, and they’ve never heard of you.  You load them into an email program (like ARP) and blast off your message.   The guys from the Pipeline Profits video say they are getting 10,000-100,000 new leads a day.  Hmmm… do you suppose any of those people will click the “report as spam” button when they receive the first message? You better believe they will… you can almost take it to the bank!


I am NOT saying that it doesn’t work… but this is a technique that I personally would not use, and therefore I am not going to recommend that you use it either.  


So, if you have NOT gotten anything in your email boxes about these two “latest and greatest marketing ploys”…  consider yourself sheltered and safe.  If you HAVE received mail pertaining to either of these, I strongly recommend you “GUARD YOUR WALLET” and steer clear of both of them.  Especially the Co-Registration scheme!


I know that everyone is looking for ways to get more leads, but folks, this is NOT the way to do it!   Okay??  I’ve studied these things… and want to save you the time and money of falling for either of these marketing gimmicks for your business.


I am in the back pockets of a lot of major marketers, and if and when I find something that I think will TRULY help you with your business, rest assured, I will tell you about it.  Until then, “Guard Your Wallet” and keep doing what you’re doing.  🙂



Secret to Success (and More Leads?)

As we near the end of another year… it never ceases to amaze me the number of folks who start crying the blues to me about how slow things are.. or how bad lead flow is.. or how far down sales are this year versus last, etc., etc.


Just like you, I’m constantly seeing advice on how to be successful. Usually it has to do with buying new technology, getting a new attitude, or learning new tricks of the trade. But over the years I’ve noticed something much simpler that almost always leads to success. I’m sure you’ve noticed it too: just keep moving!


No matter how little money you have, how little you know, or what your personal problems might be, you can eventually achieve success if you JUST KEEP TRYING.


Life seems to award the spoils to those who show up day after day. In most businesses, the real key to success is just being there.


Lately I’m seeing a lot of successful Internet and real estate businesses that started out in the late 90s with no money and little idea of what they were doing. How did they climb to the top? They didn’t give up! They just kept going, putting one foot in front of the other day after day, refusing to throw in the towel.


Nowhere in business is this more true than in marketing and advertising. I can just about guarantee your first ad won’t sell much. It’s your sixth, seventh, 101st ads that will deliver the goods.


You’ll have days that don’t go right, and times when quitting seem like the smart thing to do. But keep moving. Eventually your refusal to give up will create momentum for you and your project…and that always seems to lead to lucky breaks and better times.


This advice holds ESPECIALLY true when it comes to your advertising. Seems that when things slow down a bit.. the human tendancy is to pull back on that advertising. “No one is responding to the ads.. so let’s cut back right now until things pick back up.”




As we enter this new year in just a couple of days… let me encourage you not to become frustrated with an ad that isn’t pulling what it once did. Don’t give up on a plan. If it was good enough to be a plan to begin with… STICK WITH IT! See it through!


I cannot tell you how much I have had to tell myself this over the past weeks. And so it is my year-end advice to each of you!


Stick with your marketing, even during slow times, it will carry you through and when times are good again, you’ll be GLAD you did!
Most of all… go in to 2007 with a clear vision as to where you want to be at this time next year! Plan your attack, and work your plan. If you don’t… next year at this time, you will be looking to 2008 in the exact same spot you are in now.


I simply love the line I know you’ve all seen at the bottom of my signature file, and I leave you with that today:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Albert Einstein


Happy New Year everyone! I look forward to an exciting year in 2007!!





CFA Report

Some of you may have already seen this report from the Consumer Federation of America… since it was released back in June… But if you have NOT seen it… it is worth your read.  It’s the kind of report I used to download and print off to use as ammunition (back in my active brokerage days) when meeting with clients (or potential clients) to discuss the reasons why choosing to use our services (as an EBA) was to their advantage….


The report explains “How Traditional Brokers Stifle Competition, How Consumers are Harmed, and How Consumers Can Protect Themselves.”  The report stops short of specifically recommending a Buyer Broker, but anyone with a 3rd Grade Education can read for themselves that not many other options exist if the consumer wants to be protected.


Download the PDF report here.


Have a great Wednesday!