by Deb DibDeb Dib is one of our Quintessential Careers Career Masterminds. Squeezing a square peg into a round hole is tough — whether you push it with your hand, slam it with your palm, or hit it with a hammer, it never truly fits. In fact, more often than not, it splinters and breaks. Something has to give; it’s not sustainable.If you’ve been a square peg in a round hole, you know how it feels to be pounded but never fit. How do you become a successful, sustainable, and happy square peg in a square hole, or round peg in a round hole? How do you get a company to want your particular peg? How do you do it in a tough economy?Know and market your Why-Buy-ROI.Your Why-Buy-ROI is the who-how-what of delivering measurable results (primarily in dollars or percentages if you are in a revenue role) — OR enabling the delivery of those results (if are in a support role). It says (fast!): “I know what you need, I can do it, I can prove I can do it, and I can do it again!”Your Why-Buy-ROI clearly speaks to employers’ critical hiring factors — ROI and brand. Companies always want to know the return-on-investment (ROI) they can expect from a candidate — any level candidate — from CEO, to custodian, to college student. Your Why-Buy-ROI delivers that ROI. But employers want more. So your Why-Buy-ROI goes further. It shows your branded value to the marketplace.The Why-Buy-ROI is worth the time and effort it takes to identify, refine, and craft its message because it clearly shows why an employer should “buy” YOU. It shows the ROI value (return on investment) you will deliver AND it shows your “Why-Buy” brand (the chemistry and fit component of the hire).Bottom-line? Your Why-Buy-ROI shows “why-buy” YOU and not someone else who can deliver the same ROI. That’s a nice deliverable!To craft a compelling Why-Buy-ROI message you will need to know what the employers and or industries you are targeting really want. You will need to prove that you can solve a clear problem or “bleeding need.” You will need to do your homework, but the pay-off in career-long clarity and irresistible value will be worth it!Ask yourself six key questions to help discover and refine your Why-Buy-ROI.
- What is most intractable problem facing my target employers?
- How have I used my personality, passions, process, and skills to resolve similar problems in the past?
- What is the top- or bottom-line benefit and ultimate impact I typically deliver?
- What is the most impressive story I can tell about delivering value by overcoming a similar problem?
- How can I make the story interesting and magnetic on a personal and professional level?
- How can I reduce the core brand/value (Why-Buy-ROI) message to a sentence that demonstrates the value, process, and personality I consistently bring to all I do?
It’s not easy to reduce a career of contribution to a sentence but it can be done! Be ready to work hard to find the answers, to simplify and clarify, and then ruthlessly edit to a precision statement that answers today’s “So what? Make me care! Do it fast!” employers’ mantra. (Hint: A helpful tool to use to refine this to a simple sentence is the complimentary four-step “pitch wizard” at www.15secondpitch.com.)Here’s an example of a Why-Buy-ROI for a support role:
I enable my boss to up her billable hours — most recently more than 45 percent — by seeing what she needs before she knows she needs it.
Here’s one for a revenue role:
I deliver up to 37 percent year-to-year revenue increases — in any economy (in up and down markets) — through a laser focus on the 3 R’s: Research, Relationships, Revenue.
When marketed through visibility-building activities like on- and off-line networking, your Why-Buy-ROI will repel off-brand (non-sustainable) opportunities and draw best-fit (success building) opportunities to you.Final ThoughtsYour Why-Buy-ROI is your best defender against square-peg-round-hole syndrome, and your best path to a successful, sustainable, and happy work life — no matter what the economy.Note: Why-Buy-ROI is trademarked and the cornerstone of The Academies G3 Coach program for the Get clear. Get found. Get hired! Coach certification. Why-Buy-ROI and the program were developed and are taught by Deb Dib and Susan Whitcomb.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms. One of our Quintessential Careers Career Masterminds, and known as the CEO Coach, Deb Dib of Executive Power Brand is a branded career communications expert, avid innovator, and the first recipient of the Dick Bolles/Career Management Alliance Parachute Award for “sustained, enduring, and innovative contribution.” She is co-creator of Why-Buy-ROI¢ branding and one of the world’s first Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategists. Deb co-authored the award-winning book, The Twitter Job Search Guide, and co-created The Academies’ Get Clear. Get Found. Get Hired! Coach program (The G3) — the first career communications certification specific to today’s social media/mobile marketplace. She holds ten certifications, is featured in 30+ career books, and has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, The Daily News, and other major media. Deb’s mission is to empower “visionary, gutsy CEOs with a conscience to land faster, earn more, have fun, and change the world!”