What makes you so special?

Used to be a question I used to dread! And I’ve been asked this question at least a thousand times over the course of my life… that’s a lot! I must say for the first half of my life, I struggled to answer it. Why? Because I honestly didn’t think I was special. I was anything but that!

But things have changed. Now I’ve stopped caring about the question or even answering it directly. Why? Because it’s one of the most potent questions thrown at you by someone who’s insecure, unsure and doesn’t trust you. And if you take a step back and just visualize why an insecure, unsure and an untrusting person would ask such a question… you would understand why it’s not worth breaking a sweat. 

I’ll be honest. I’ve actually come to enjoy the question so much that I invite it more often than I should. Because it’s an opportunity to explain how I can help them or give them a perspective where things look much promising and stable. That’s all the other person cares about. This is particularly important if you’re into sales or business development.

Your potential clients want to know why they should trust you or what makes you so special. Instead of being intimidated and fumble for the “perfect” answer, take a step back and ask questions. What makes them ask that question? That’ll give them the chance to blurt out a vital piece of information that is important to you. Probe further to see if you fully understand their “unique” situation. That is the only way to go. Remember, sales isn’t about pushing your product but about seeking opportunities to help them with what you have to offer. And yes, there will be times when what you have and they need are worlds apart. That’s totally okay.

I have had cases where I’ve simply blurted out, “I/we am/are anything but special. But we’re super-committed to what we have to offer and the way I see it, you’re asking me this question because…

I know it isn’t the greatest sales pitch one would hear but who cares? I’m there to serve them not for a self-serving purpose. Business development is all about identifying needs and filling them up with the solutions you have to offer. And if you don’t, suggest or recommend or refer them to someone who can resolve their challenges. It takes a bigger person (professional) to think in those terms by the way.

So, what makes you so special?

By Sunil Nair

Nurturing leaders of tomorrow.

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