Answering the loaded question, "Can you tell me why should we hire YOU? "
If you haven't ever heard this question, then congratulations. You are top of the heap, have never had to vie for any business deals and should probably be sharing all your secrets with us! If you're like the rest of us, trying to land that next client, then you've most likely heard this question in some form or another.
This particular question causes some folks to panic, but there's no need. You can nail this question by following a few simple DO and DON'T guidelines.
Offer a rundown of #allthethings your agency offers. Your website should do that for you, or an initial introductory email. By the time you get to this particular question they want to know more about you and your team, your workflow, the things you don't advertise (and probably take for granted internally). Giving an a la carte list of line items is not going to impress anyone. If you feel you must reiterate that your services are beyond compare, stick to listing 2 things and give specific examples of how you excel at those.
Make it personal. Use the product? Done something similar that you really enjoyed? Have this on your list of once in a lifetime projects? Say so. It's best to keep it simple here though and stick to mom's rule, "if you can't say something nice then don't say anything at all." Even just acknowledging their work and expressing a solid interest will do here. It needs to be genuine and all positive.
Gush. Client's love to hear how great they are, but when you're trying to land a job they only want to hear how you're going to make them better. Going overboard by showering compliments and unnecessary adjectives (*amazing, best, wow*) at every turn won't win you any confidence points and creates a strong impression that you're full of fluff.
Give an answer. Clamming up here is worse than giving a less than solid response. I won't hire anyone that doesn't have the chops to answer any question I ask, even if it's one that's hard to answer.
Talk about the competition. If it's brought up then say a few words in neutral territory. Respect for your peers is an impressive thing. Comparisons are sticky territory. If asked directly by the client, stick to things that are pro vs con for the needs of the client and leave your own feelings out of it, no matter what they are.
*If you can't be honest about who's a better fit then you need to reassess your targets and workflow, or agree that maybe you're not the best place to get them what they need. Landing a client out of spite means you're looking at all the wrong reasons to work with them.
#Humblebrag. I really am not a fan of this new term, but I like that it separates itself from gloating. It's always tied to an accomplishment that someone can be proud of, not sheer bravado. Think, "Our team won an award today on a project we spent 6 months of really tough development on, learning new techniques and really digging in. We do good work and it shows." vs "Because we're awesome, we win awards and know dev and stuff."
When it's all said and done, whether you win the job or not, you need to ask them why they made the decision they did. Some folks won't answer, but you'll be surprised by how many do. Their answers will give you great insight into what they valued about your approach or what they found lacking, thus giving you great feedback on how to improve and refine your answer to this question. Who knows, once you get that question and answer down and referrals start rolling in you may not have to answer it as often!
Have anything to share about how you handle this portion of client sales? Let me know in the comments below.