I have written before of the three universal marketing questions anyone selling his or her services needs to be able to answer:

  1. What are you offering?
  2. To whom are you offering it?
  3. Why should prospects hire you?

The third question — the “why” — seems to be the most difficult for many salespeople to answer.

“You should work with me because I really care about my clients,” said Terry, a two-year veteran financial advisor, in a role-playing session with me.

“But that’s exactly what [Terry’s competitor] said to me,” I responded. “Why should I choose you over her?” Terry was stumped.

“What is different about you?”

“Well, I’m not really different in any particular way,” he stated. “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?”

Terry thought for another moment, then responded, “My father died when I was just a teenager and left us with no money, so I know how important it is to be financially prepared. I made up my mind that I would spend my life helping people be prepared in that way.”

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 question: “Why you?”

If 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 provide prospects with a compelling reason to hire you.

Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips:

Sandy Schussel is a speaker, business trainer and coach who helps sales teams develop systems to win clients. He is the author of The High Diving Board and