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Do you want cream with that?

By March 14, 2011 Miscellaneous, USP No Comments

When I was first starting out in my career (a l-o-n-g time ago) I went to an interview.  This interview was for the 2nd job I’d have and was intended to be a good career move for me.  I can’t remember much about this particular interview in question (20 years is a long time to remember specifics!), but I do remember that final question.. “And what is it that you can offer this agency that others can’t?“. 

And my answer? 


What I replied was “because I make home made mince pies at Christmas and bring them in to the office“.  Arrgghh.  How embarrassing. (Hey – we all learn by our mistakes!!! And I was very young?)

Anyway, unsurprisingly I didn’t get that job (but I was a little more clued up for next time).

What the interviewer was looking for was the one reason that made me stand out head and shoulders above all the other interviewees?BUT related to what they were looking for.  And I don’t suppose for one second it had anything to do with their Christmas catering arrangements.

Now if I asked you the same question – “what is it that you can offer me?“ or “why should I employ you over and above all the other people in your field?“ – what answer would you give me?

When you’re marketing yourself, you first need to be very clear about what you’re offering your customers.  But more than that – you need to be extremely clear about the one particular reason that makes you unique.

You may well have a unique signature system or process that enables you to do what you do, and if you have that’s wonderful, but you still need to take it one stage further.

You see, there are plenty of other perfectly wonderful business owners in your field, all offering your type of service.  But if I’m going to be choosing YOU – then there’s got to be a good reason.

And you need to know that reason.

And unless you’re a supplier of home made produce, then the mince pies just aren’t going to work.

The thing is?how do you pick that one unique thing about you?  Well, here’s my suggestion: first make a list of the things that you love doing in your business and the parts of your work that you find really easy to do (in fact SO easy, you could do with your eyes shut).  Add to that list the parts of your character that you bring to your work – for instance, insightful, diligent, approachable, sociable, diligent.

Now – go and ask your target clients what they want from someone who offers your kind of service.

Now compare those two lists.  What you should see is your client asking for someone like “this” or “can do that”, and what you need to do is pick the one or two things from your list that match that.

BUT – and here’s the key – use your client’s language, not yours.  You may say “stepped approach” but they may be asking for “someone to hold my hand and show me the way”.  Same thing – but say it in their language and you’re onto a winner.

So, the next time someone asks “why you?” – what’s your answer going to be?

And by the way, even if no-one ever asks why they should choose you, the fact that you know why you’re unique in your field will make you far more confident, positive and therefore attractive to your potential clients.

Have a great week,


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