the past few years, since I began using this weekly blog to share stories about
sales and sales management, I have been receiving numerous questions from
readers including my own clients. Over the next several months I am going to
use my weekly ramblings to post one reader question with my answer. Please note
– my answers are based on my personal and professional experiences and in no
way reflect my company or specific clients.
Q: I recently had a prospective client
ask me what was one key characteristic that I thought was a compelling reason
for them to hire my firm. My answer was experience. He did not like this answer
and believed it was shallow. I was caught off guard to say the least. How could
I have better answered this question?
A: I find experience to be a solid
answer to the question so long as there is evidence of experience to back this
up. Individuals and firms alike will tout experience as a reason they should be
hired. However, like in your situation, there is little evidence provided to
back up their one word answer of “experience”. Here is how I describe
experience when I use this word as my own answer to this question.
What separates my firm from others, a
key reason you (Mr./Ms. Prospect) should hire us, is experience. We have been
in business for over 21 years while the average firm comes and goes in less
than 5 years. I would imagine very few, if any, of the other firms you are
interviewing have been in business as long as we have. But, that is not
reason enough, rather the experience I describe comes from a combination of
factors. It is what I call “our formula for success”. Our experience is the time
we’ve remained in business when others have not, combined with an executive
management team (ownership team) that have been with the organization for 21+ /
20 / 18 / and 16 years respectively; and, the fact that we’ve worked with over
700 clients during the course of this tenure in business. We’ve stayed in
business because of a tried & true project/program methodology. And,
ultimately, we drive results for our clients. That is the experience we bring
to the table.