I have written before on the Three Universal Marketing Questions that anyone selling his or her services needs to know the answers to:
(1) What are you offering?
(2) To whom are you offering it?
(3) Why should they hire you?
The third point—the “why”—seems to be the most troubling for many people.
“You should work with me because I really care about my clients,” Terry, a 2-year veteran financial advisor, posed in a role-play sales conversation with me.
“But that’s exactly what [your competitor] said to me,” I responded. “Why should I choose you over her?”
Terry was stumped. “If we’re all white crayons in a box,” I continued, “What difference does it make which crayon I pick? All of them would tell me, if they could talk, that they are really good at coloring inside the lines.” Once again, Terry could not answer.
“What is different about you,” I asked him again, “from all the other people who do what you do?”
“Well, I’m not really different in any particular way” he started, “we all provide the same kinds of planning services and give advice aimed at the same goals…I just know I would be more caring than anyone else.”
“What makes you think so?” I pressed.
Terry thought for another moment, and finally responded, hesitantly. “My father died when I was just a teenager and left us with no money, so I know how important having money is—and I made up my mind that I would spend my life helping people prevent that from happening to their families.”
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Terry’s face brightened. He realized he had stumbled onto the perfect answer—for him—to the “why you” question.
When you can tell people why they should hire you or use your services in a way that distinguishes you from the other crayons in the box—perhaps by using powerful, personal stories or strong metaphors—you’ll get more business.
If you don’t have a clear answer to the third, or any of the Three Universal Marketing Questions, contact me for help. Don’t be afraid to stand out of the box, and keep REACHING…