What is your gift? I bet that’s a question you haven’t asked yourself in a while…or at all. You should have an answer. Most people don’t.
That is not to say that people don’t have a gift. They do; they just haven’t defined it. In business development and sales, I always say that people buy people first, products/services second. That means they are buying your gift…that quality, personality trait, and/or experience that sets you apart from the next person coming through the door.
Let’s take a look at what I mean.
What do I stand for?
Getting to the core of who you are, why you do what you, why you do it for the company you’re doing it for, and why all of that is a benefit for your clients is paramount. That core is what you stand for and defines how you communicate what you do. What are you most proud to announce to the world? Make a list but focus on the “why” rather than the “what.” For example, “I sell widgets.” That’s the what. “I help companies provide better service.” That’s the why. It’s your personal brand promise. Once you know that promise, making it known to your clients will be one key way to set yourself apart from others who have not likely defined it for themselves.
What Makes Me Unique?
Depending on what your company does or sells, there may be dozens if not hundreds of competing companies that will make similar claims about what they offer. So much gets commoditized these days, it’s why a lot of times (too many, in my opinion) decisions are made on price. Therefore, the person presenting the offer becomes much more important. That’s you. But what makes you different than the next person through your client’s door? Why would someone buy you first, then your product or service? If you don’t know, neither will they.
For example, I have a client in the hotel architecture industry. Her “gift” is a deep understanding and knowledge of back-of-the-house operations. What makes her unique is that she creates designs that respect those operations, allowing them to work seamlessly with the front-of-the-house, leading to a more compatible relationship between the two. Her competitors focus on the “sizzle” of the front of the house, virtually ignoring the core operations. We worked to get her to bring her gift to light quickly and often with new clients, giving her an advantage as clients acknowledge her uniqueness.
Why Can’t I Be Imitated?
What makes me un-imitatable? That’s your secret sauce. If there is something about your background, your approach to the business, your work style, your commitment to clients, that makes you who you are, that’s what you need to bring to the forefront with clients. If you worked with me or read past blog posts, you know I speak a lot about a company’s Value Proposition. So, for individuals, it’s important to know what your Personal Value Proposition (PVP) is. Again, it’s the “why” of what you do and that which gets you up in the morning, ready to tackle the day’s challenges. Clients should be able to sense that you fully understand your PVP and that you will use it to provide a higher level of service to them compared to the competitors right outside their door!
Finding your gift can be difficult. It takes some serious effort and perspective. But once you arrive at what it is…that “a-ha!” moment so many speak of, you will find that it will better define your uniqueness and lead to strong client relationships.