Proving Your Competency

Here’s a simple tool for selling yourself or your company as perfect for the job 

By Alysia Kehoe

Now more than ever, securing the bid, getting the project, or attracting the customer is crucial. So, how do you make your company rise to the top when it comes to customers looking for what will help them the most?

Developing a competency grid can serve as your interview script that includes your Personal Positioning Statement. It which tells the client what you do and how you do it better than the competition.

As a strategic development coach, I help individuals do this when transitioning to a new career or trying to get a new job, but it also works when trying to win a project bid or a customer.

How to develop your personal positioning statement

Briefly write a sales pitch that accurately reflects who you are and what you or your company can offer a potential customer. This format, using the acronym PETS, should help you get started:

  • Profession:We are a _________________…” (State your profession, level or major area of focus.)
  • Expertise: “ with expertise in _____________.” (List key functions and abilities.)
  • Types:”We have worked with_________________.” (List types of organizations and industries you have worked with.)
  • Strengths:”Our strengths include ____________________.” (List unique professional qualities/accomplishments).

This is an example of putting it all together: “We are a family-owned business that has been in the community for 20 years, specializing in technology services and repair. We have worked with major companies like IBM, Intel, and Computer Sciences Corporation.  We were recently featured in Fast Company magazine.  Our strengths include listening to the client with laser focus, same day turnaround of customer calls, and solutions to your technical issues in hours instead of days.”

Building your competency grid

Once you have composed your Personal Positioning Statement, work on the rest of your Competency Grid with Competency Competency GridHeadlines, success stories of satisfied customers, and a nine-second verbal pitch of what you do best and how you can help your customers meet their goals.

As seen in the example, the Competency Grid is only one page with the Personal Positioning Statement on the top portion of the page, followed by the grid.  This is a visual that contains your quantitative and qualitative stories in each grid block.  When you hand this piece to a prospective client or hiring manager, they begin to ask you questions off the grid, rather than the conventional interview questions.  Since you wrote the grid, it becomes your script for these conversations, rather than depending on questions formed from a brief scan of your resume. Because you already know the answers to their questions, you can ace the conversation with the prospective client or hiring manager.

Are you ready to reinvent your potential for attracting more customers? Try the using the Competency Grid.  And let me know how it goes.

Alysia Kehoe is a strategic business coach and the author of Reinventing Yourself: Transitioning into Your Passion, Purpose & Encore Career.