What Do You Have to Offer…How About You? – Getting Beyond the Surface

I happened along a quote the other day…”somewhere someone is looking for exactly what you have to offer”. From my perspective, in its simplicity, it really does pack a whole lot meaning and even more truth. However, the question which most don’t contemplate is, what do you have to offer?

You can think about this question in a number of different contexts; as a business, a parent, a teammate, a partner, a boss, a co-worker, an employee, a friend, etc. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, the question remains the same. The challenge comes in how well you can define it.

Let’s take a business, for example. If you were to walk into a store and ask them what they offer, likely immediately you would be told about the product or service. Nice and easy to describe, but what else do they offer. They might dig a little deeper and describe their guarantee and tell you about some of their satisfied customers. Not it yet…let’s get a little deeper. Next you would hear about the great team of employees they have and maybe about some of their training, but this isn’t what they have to offer me. Everything that has been described up to this point is easy to copy and generally found at a competitor, and this is where sometimes it is difficult to find “the someone”.

Try the same thing if you were an employee. What would you say if you were asked what you have to offer? Likely you would talk about your experience or your training and education. Again, this doesn’t differentiate you from someone else. Sure your experience may be different and you might have got top grades in school, however you could easily be mixed up with someone else with a similar background to you.

So what do you have to offer? If representatives from a company responded to the question with something like, “I will take the time to listen to you describe what you need or what problem you are dealing with (related to a specific field) and then to assist you in evaluating if what we have to offer might be suitable in addressing that need. If in the end we do not have a solution, then I will do my best to direct you to other alternatives.”

This is a different way of answering what you have to offer. It tells someone you are willing to offer them your time. It tells them you are willing to offer to listen to them. It tells them you are offering to help them solve their problem through your own experience. It is an offer of so much more than a product or service. It is an offer of you.

Offering up what makes you unique might seem a little difficult at first, however once you give it a try you will find it a whole lot easier to find that someone who is looking for exactly what you have to offer!

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