Value Proposition, Elevator pitch and USP – what is the difference?

Nicola Lutz   Sell it in English 6/2019

In sales and marketing, it’s important to know your carrots. We seem to focus on the easiest - the USPs, Unique Selling Propositions, and it is indeed important to know how to differentiate yourself from your competitors. However, don’t forget to check up on your elevator pitch. And if you want to grow, you are going to need to define your value proposition too. So, what is the difference?

Elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is a short (around 10 seconds), usually verbal description of who you work with and the area in which you help them. The aim is to stimulate discussion, and it’s commonly found at networking events.


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Unique Selling Proposition

A Unique Selling Proposition’s aim is to differentiate your product or service from that of your competition. It is often used in marketing materials and in sales discussions in the mid-to-end range of the sales pipeline, when customers are almost ready to buy. A quick side note here - often USPs are cited at the prospecting stage, however it is usually the “selling points” that are needed here. The selling points are the general offering - reassuring the prospect that you offer all of what they need, with the right accreditations or expertise. It’s outlining that their requirements will be met. Moving further down the sales pipeline is when you bring out your unique selling points in order to move them towards a sale with you rather than your competition. You may waste the impact of your USPs if you use it too early. Equally, they are more effective in B2C than in B2B sales.


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