Entrepreneur
Article
By Andrew Neitlich

Finesse: How to overcome the issue of strengths vs. weaknesses

By Andrew Neitlich

The last blog challenged you to think about your biggest weakness, or reason why a client wouldn’t hire you. It then asked you how to handle this with clients.

Here’s my answer:

Every strength is a weakness and every weakness is a strength. Those who know how to finesse a weakness into a strength (and a competitor’s strength into a weaknesses) will get more clients than those who don’t.

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The way to turn your weaknesses into strengths is by playing the “That’s exactly why you should hire me” game. Here’s how it works:

1. Client tells you a concern or perceived weakness.
2. You say, “That’s exactly why you should hire me.”
3. Finesse the reason why.

Here are some examples:

Client: You are too young, not even out of high school.
You: That’s exactly why you should hire me. I’m passionate about web design, whereas some older competitors might be a bit jaded, doing it by rote. Also, I know about the latest innovations to help you create a powerful web presence, whereas those who have been at it longer than me might be a bit rusty. Plus, I understand that some clients might be skeptical. That’s why I go out of my way to be flexible, responsive, and to do what it takes to delight you. Finally, overhead is not a big issue for me, so you’ll get a fair price for high quality work.

Client: You have no references from previous clients like me.
You: That’s exactly why you should hire me. I’m new to this business, and building a client base. While web designers with tons of references might take you for granted, I’m going to do everything possible to earn your trust and turn you into a reference.

Client: I don’t like you.
You: That’s exactly why you should hire me. Lots of people react negatively to my sometimes gruff personality. But that means I don’t have to worry about being popular. I can be objective, and focus on helping you achieve your business goals — even if it means giving you some tough advice. And, I have thick skin, and don’t mind if you tell me whatever is on your mind.

Client: You don’t seem committed enough to your business. After all, you are only at it part time.
You: That’s exactly why you should hire me. I am part time, and so I have to choose my clients carefully in order to manage my time. If we work together, you’ll be one of only a very few, select clients. That way, I can give you my full attention. Also, I don’t mind working weekends and through the night to get the job done for you, so you will find me even more accessible and responsive than full timers who work 9 to 5.

Okay, that’s enough for now. Almost nothing is absolute in sales and marketing. It’s all about creating perception. And that requires finesse.

So, do you have finesse or not?

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