As an (individual) change strategist, a key part of my role is helping clients firstly identify and then verbalise their value proposition in a compelling way.
I’ve often found they really don’t get what it is they are ‘selling’, or why people or organisations would want to ‘buy’ or hire them, whether it be as a so-called permanent employee, or as a contractor or consultant.
A recent example of this struck me when I was conducting a practice interview with a client for a colleague of mine. One of my all-time favourite questions is: “Why should we hire you?” It provides the chance to expound on your targeted value proposition as it aligns to the role or organisation. I mean, if you don’t know, why should I connect the dots for you, and do your work for you?
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And so I asked the question.
What was the answer? “Because I have a MBA from Melbourne University.”
Now don’t get me wrong, that’s a great achievement. Firstly to have been selected to the MBA, and secondly to have completed it. Particularly impressive if you did this part-time while juggling a full-time job, a young family etc. So, a great achievement, and very impressive.
But, let’s be realistic. So what?
And that’s one of the key problems. We confuse our attributes with the benefits of hiring us, and treat them as our value proposition.
Imagine the client replied: “Well, when I was completing my MBA at Melbourne University, I particularly focused on how to step change a business’ performance by taking cost out of an organisation’s supply chain processes and, having studied your business and your industry, I believe I could add immediate value by reducing the time to market of a number of your products. For example…”
Wow, now you’ve got my attention, and you’ve drawn my attention to the fact that you have a solid academic basis to your thinking, too. Bring your benefits to the fore, while referencing your attributes, like this:
Benefit: What I’ve learnt from the MBA process and how I have, and can, apply that experience to your business.
So, how will you turn your attributes into benefits, clearly verbalise your value proposition, and blow me away with your answer to the question – why should I hire you?