December 10, 2018

How to answer the question “what makes you different”

Well, I really care about all the clients I work with, I love what I do, All our clients get treated like family, I will mow your lawn and let you treat me like shit…

Sound familiar?

Everyone says the same dumb shit. Nobody actually gives concrete reasons, just subjective bullshit.

The first thing you need to understand is that they are asking either one of two different questions:

1 – I have other choices, but I’m not sure, help me understand why you are better


2 – I like you, but I’m not sure how to justify my decision with logic, help me make a compelling case.

Either way, that question is typically a great indicator your prospect is ready to make a decision.

Now slow down, that doesn’t mean that this question is academic and you have the deal in the bag, still a million ways to screw it up from here.

Keep it in your pants and pick up the money!

There are a few different ways to answer this question, but here is what I use; feel free to rip me off.


“Look, when it comes to our industry, you have a lot to choose from. Now, I can’t speak for others, but I’ve earned my stripes in sales starting when I was 19.

I sold life insurance, door-to-door. You think selling {{their offering}} is hard, try knocking on doors in rural Canada, selling life insurance.

You never saw me before, you never saw me again, but for the 2 hours I was in front of you, you bought insurance.
I would have to convince complete strangers to give me their Social, their Checking account and buy a piece of paper with a promise, a promise to die.

Once you do that and have had enough doors slammed in your face, everything else seems fairly straightforward.

See, in my time selling insurance, I learned a few things that I have carried over to everything I do today:

– {{X}} Skill
– {{Y}} Philosophy
– {{Z}} Skill

In your situation, I think that would really help, this way we can {{Specific Strategy}}

When we worked with {{X Company}} we did {{Y Solution}} and the result was {{Z result}}. I think we can do the exact same for you.

That is why you should work with us.

What do you think?


Let’s break it down…

What I said:

I told them about my background, I build trust and credibility.

I gave them my experiences. I not only told them that I know how to sell, but I have proven it and executed on the toughest stage.

When I list out my skills and philosophy, I am humanizing myself but also providing logical and concrete facts as to what I can do for them and why it will work.

Then I tie it all together with a specific strategy. People don’t want to wait until they pay you to know what you are going to do, they want a clear understanding beforehand. This is a mistake most people selling services make. Product based sales are easier because with a product, the prospect can see it before they buy it.

I give social proof by name dropping and showing I’ve done it before and then I give them the previous result so it gives them assurance that it will work.

Then I go for the close. Remember, this question is very bottom of the funnel typically, so I go in for the close to the next steps. Even though it is a soft close, its appropriate for the situation.

Why it works:

It works because it is a logical answer to a logic-based question. Remember they want something concrete. In effect, they are telling you “sell me, don’t pitch me”

Why I say it that way:

I tell it in story format for 2 reasons:

Everyone else goes off in some BS corporate speech that sounds like it was written by a lawyer with no soul. That comes off sterile and disingenuous. This not only communicates why I am the right choice but also gives them insight into who I am and the personality of my firm.

I tell it in story format because it allows my clients to be able to relay it to their struggles when they first started in their career and a story is memorable.

This is the strategy I use when I know they aren’t evaluating anyone else and looking for a reason to move forward, they just want assurance that they are dealing with a pro that can take them to the promise land.

When I know they have alternatives to me on the table, I typically use a contrarian approach. While that is a post all on to itself, in a nutshell, you take a commonly held belief and rip it to shreds.

Something such as “most VPs of Sales look to hire ex-college athletes, I hate them, everyone believes that they are team players willing to work hard, that is complete bullshit” then I explain why I think that way.

Or another one I love to use is:

“I hate when someone tells me to give Value… WTF is value?? How is that going to make me money…” and then I go off on a tangent about how most people who tell you to give value really have no clue what they are talking about.

Now, that is typically a very polarizing approach, however, it works well because the clients that are a good fit will completely agree with me and stop evaluating others. The ones who are not a good fit will self-select out.

Another point to note is that everything I say is my actual opinion. I don’t just buck others’ opinions just for the fun of it. I actually do hate those beliefs as I think they are complete garbage.

At the end of the day, there is more than one way to skin a cat and these two approaches are not for everyone, however, if you can take away some of the principals here and make them your own, I think you will have a much better time answering the “Tell me what makes you different” questions.


Find me at:

Instagram: @ForTheClose_

Twitter: @ForTheClose

Youtube: @ForTheClose

Thanks for reading!

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