Why Should I Hire You?

Young business woman interviews young business man over coffee.

Don’t you just hate it when a potential client asks, “Why should I hire you?” during a conversation about a coaching plan, new project, or contract? Whether you’re a personal trainer talking about a fitness plan or a done-for-you bookkeeping service hoping to sign a new client, you feel uncomfortable and unsure the minute you hear the question.

You’re not alone. It’s the #1 most hated question coaches, consultants, and small business owners have to answer.

Why? Because it feels like you have to brag about yourself to answer the question. But that’s not true. You just need to understand how to market and promote yourself while being genuine and truthful.

You’re not the only one to feel panicky when you're asked, "Why should I hire you?". People hear the question, panic for a moment, and then hurry through an answer without thinking strategically.

No worries. It’s much easier than you think to answer this question.

But, before I teach you the secret to answering, "Why should I hire you?", let’s take a look at some variations of the question:

· Why should we select you/your business for our contract?

· Will your coaching/consulting services work for me?

· Why should I go with you/your business for our project?

It doesn’t matter which version of the question you’re asked; your response will be the same.

And before we go any further, let’s make sure you’re not going with an answer that’s all about you. Here’s an answer you’ve probably heard before:

I want your business and know that I’d do a great job for you.”

This is by far the most common answer to this question. Unfortunately, there are two things wrong with this answer.

First, it’s all about you and what you want.

When you want to do something, you say, “I want.” Like, “I want to be hired for this project because I’ve done it before.” Or, “I want you to sign you up for my coaching program because I know I can help you.”

Every coach, consultant, or small business owner wants the potential client to hire or select them.

So, if being selected is based on want, should the client pick the person who wants their business the most?

That’s not usually a determining factor for the client. 

If you want to become an online family therapist but you’ve only taken entry-level Psych classes and aren’t licensed as a counselor, that would be a want for which you’re not qualified.

If you want to be a career coach but have never worked in human resources or worked as a recruiter, that’s a want for which you’re not qualified.

Are you catching the hint? The correct way to answer "Why should I hire you?" is to discuss why you are qualified, not to talk about what you want.

The second problem with this answer is that you’re going to sound like every other coach, consultant, or small business owner out there. You’re not going to stand out – not even just a little. And since I know you don’t want that, let’s move on to how you should answer this question.

To create a memorable and convincing answer, you need to think through what outcome the client is looking for based on your conversation so far.

Does the client want to streamline their bookkeeping so that when tax time rolls around, it’s not the usual nightmare? Then you should talk about how many clients you’ve worked within the past who’ve had the same problem and describe how after just two fiscal quarters with you, you streamlined their processes, and they were all set for end-of-year reporting and tax filing.

Maybe the client has a child who’s struggling in school due to ADHD, and they’re desperately looking for help and don’t know where to turn. Then you talk about parents who you’ve helped in the past, the transformation that child experienced as a student, and how you can help their child to be successful too.

So, take a few moments and think about what the client wants. Not what they need – someone to work with and tutor their child – what they want – a child who’s happy and successful in school. There are probably two or three primary outcomes the client is focused on. 

Now, think about your background and experience and how they qualify you to help this particular client. Write down the two to three outcomes that are most important to the client.

Next, think about how to describe what you’ve done and how to connect it to the client’s expectations directly.

Sometimes it’s obvious: I have over ten years of experience working with clients who were overwhelmed and frustrated trying to keep track of and report their financials. With each client, I implemented an easy 5-point system that takes less than 15 minutes a week so that at the end of the year, they can press a few buttons and have their end-of-year reporting and tax filing information pulled together in less than 30 minutes.

Sometimes you have to connect the dots for them: I have over ten years’ experience working in corporate America reporting quarterly as well as end-of-year financials. While I was there, I created an easy 5-point system that we followed to generate end-of-year reporting and tax filing. I’ve adapted and streamlined that process and now have five small business clients who love how it works for them.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “This is hard!” No, it’s actually amazingly easy. If it feels hard, you’re probably overthinking your answer.

The answer really is just a list of things that you’ve done that are similar to what the client needs you to do. That’s it!

And here’s the best part: if you’re giving a list of things that you’ve actually done, that’s not bragging. Bragging happens when you add adjectives to the list of your accomplishments. Instead of just stating, “I’ll implement an easy 5-point system that takes less than 15 minutes a week…” you say something like, “I have the fastest, most efficient bookkeeping program in the industry…”.

If you just give a list – without adjectives – you’re stating facts. You are summarizing ways in which your product or services have helped other clients. You’re not comparing yourself to others or doing a hard sell of your professional accomplishments.

You won’t feel awkward and don’t have to worry about sounding overconfident. You’re saying what you did, that’s all. You feel comfortable just giving a factual summary of what you’ve done, right?

So now, you’re all set with a great answer that you can deliver with confidence to the question, “Why should I hire you?” After you’ve delivered your answer, smile, maintain eye contact, and wait for them to continue the conversation. No need to say more. No need to push. Because you just delivered a killer answer to the question most coaches, consultants and small business owners fear the most.

Well done, you!