Developing Your MVP

Ninety-nine percent of every person’s DNA is exactly the same. Only 1 percent of our DNA makes us different and unique from anyone else.

Unfortunately, stating that you have a great product, service, staff or company reinforces the similarities between you and your competition, rather than what makes you unique. Most salespeople are saying the same thing when attempting to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

What can you claim or offer that your competition cannot which would distinguish you from the rest? Your Most Valuable Proposition (MVP) is a unique feature, product, service or benefit you offer that clearly separates you from the rest.

Your MVP can be:

  • A unique service, an added value or distinguishing features of your product.
  • An unheard of warrantee, guarantee, return policy, trial period, customer service or referral program.
  • An exclusive client list.

Exploit the Obvious
Traco is a manufacturer of commercial and residential windows. Their Web site features a story about how they proudly participated in the $30 million restoration of the Statue of Liberty. Traco was commissioned to manufacture and replace the 25 miniature windows that sparkle from Liberty’s crown. Talk about a unique MVP that no other window manufacturer can claim!

“30 minutes or less-guaranteed!” What company comes to mind? Domino’s! They capitalized on being able to deliver a pizza to your doorstep in 30 minutes or less. While other restaurants may also be able to deliver in 30 minutes or less and may have been doing so long before Domino’s ever came into existence, Domino’s took this concept and exploited what may have been considered obvious. They took something they were already doing, transformed it into a unique feature and then guaranteed it.

Here Are Some Other Examples of MVPs.
Guaranteed On-Time Delivery: Guarantee a start date, project completion date, a product’s performance, your level of service or an end result. For example, “We will refund each customer a certain amount for each day that goes beyond the completion date.”

Fair Price Assurance Program: “We guarantee that you can’t find a better price for the same product or service or we will refund the difference.” Staples offers a 110 percent price match guarantee. Not only will they match a lower price from another vender, they will also give you an additional 10 percent off of the price difference.

Keep in mind, if you are going to develop your own MVP in the form of some type of guarantee or warranty, make sure you develop the “fine print” that evens the playing field when comparing companies or products and covers you in case you are not able to honor your guarantee for reasons outside of your control. (Ex. Weather delays, order delays, delays due to the customer making certain decisions, etc.)

To Develop Your MVP:
1. Take each component of your company (product, company, employees, guarantees, warrantees, pricing, customer service) and write each one on the top of a separate piece of paper.

2. Divide the page into three columns. In the first column, list what your competition is saying as it relates to each category. (If you don’t know, then make an educated guess.) In the second column, list the things you are saying as it relates to each category. You will notice many similarities.

3. Now, get creative! Use the third column to list the factors that make you unique as it relates to each category that other companies cannot claim or is very rare in your industry.

Testing Your Results
You’ll know you have created your MVP when you get responses from your prospects that sound like, “I’ve never heard that before,” “That’s exactly what I need” or most important, “You’ve provided me with something no one else has: peace of mind.”