November 11, 2016

Q&A: “Do I REALLY have to ask the Why Me questions?”

A question came in regarding The Why Conversation episode of Ditching Hourly. The listener expressed a pretty common concern that I probably should have addressed in the episode. Here’s a paraphrased version of the issue:

I’m afraid if I push too hard on the “Why Me” questions because I might leave my prospect without solid reasons to prefer me over any other service provider. What if the buyer says something along the lines of “No particular reason, you’re simply the first option that I came across”. Since I’m not yet specialized, I’m finding it hard to set myself apart from any other web dev in a way that could matter to a prospect. What would your suggestion be in such case?

I have two reactions to this:

1. Ask Anyway

I would still ask the Why Me questions to avoid wasting my time. In fact, they’re even more important in a case like this.

If you proceed without learning that the buyer has ruled out cheaper options, it is highly likely that you will face a price objection once you submit your proposal... at which point you’ll have to articulate why you’re worth more than the other options.

There’s no avoiding the differentiation question, so you might as well get it out of the way upfront to save yourself the effort of writing a proposal for someone who will ultimately choose the lowest bidder.

2. Specialize

The sooner you position yourself as a specialist, the sooner you can stop competing with every commodity web developer on the planet. I know specializing can feel scary but it makes everything easier.

The bottom line is this:

If you can’t point to some meaningful difference between you and your competitors, then the only reliable way to land work is to be the cheapest.