The Upside

Unlocking Your Special Sauce: How to Stand out and Close High-value Clients

I don’t need to remind you that you’re not the only expert in your sector trying to get the attention of clients and close big contracts. 

So how do you stand out from the crowd, position yourself for premium rates and close more clients? 

The secret lies in your Special Sauce. 

Your Special Sauce embodies the saying, “No one is you, and that is your superpower.”

Your Special Sauce is not a task you do well, it’s not aptitude, and it’s not a personality trait. 

It’s that something extra that impresses your target clients and prepares them to pay high rates for your services.

To make it easy for you to identify what your unique Special Sauce is, I’ve laid out four key categories that signal the qualities potential clients care about most (and what sets you apart from the pack):

Pedigree: You have big-name companies, education or awards under your belt.

“After graduating from Stanford University, I spent 8 years as a business development exec at Google.”

Results: You have a “hero” case study that blows people away or you have a track record of consistent success.

“I’ve led alternative investment firms in raising more than $3B in institutional capital.” 

Specialized Skill or Access: You have a unique skill that’s scarce or you have valuable relationships that clients want to tap into.  

“I know all of the key players in the wholesale and retail arenas.”

A Unique Story: Your background or story impresses or intrigues people and they always want to know more.

“After serving in the Air Force for more than a decade, I now train leaders on how to step into their authority and lead by doing.”

Bottom line: clients want tangible evidence that you’re unique (and worth those big fees).

They’re buying your measurable experience in hopes that you’ll replicate that success with their desired goals.

So, consider this my challenge to you: I want you to own your Special Sauce and place it front and center in your bio, your LinkedIn page, your website and your conversations with clients. 

Doing so will immediately help set you apart in this crowded market…

…and help you land bigger and better clients.

Erin Halper

About the Author

Erin Halper is the founder and CEO of The Upside and the leading authority on independent consulting. Since launching The Upside in 2017, Erin has helped thousands of professionals transition from corporate life into consulting to achieve flexibility, autonomy, and a renewed sense of purpose in their careers.

Erin has been a frequent speaker at Columbia, NYU, Harvard, and Brown and has been featured as a leading future of work expert on dozens of podcasts as well as in Forbes, Business Insider, Nasdaq, Crunchbase and many more.

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