1. Our company is ISO 9001:2000 certified
  2. Our company was founded in 19XX
  3. Our company offers extensive experience
  4. Our company has a staff of 10 gazillion employees
  5. Our company has grown more than 100% every year since it was founded
  6. Our company is a small business
  7. Our company is a large business
  8. Our Company has an excellent past performance record
  9. Our company has an excellent past performance record
  10. Our company is committed to serving you
  11. Our company understands your needs and environment
  12. Our company offers the best value

Answer: They are all qualifications, and that is not enough. To be a reason why the customer should select you, they need to include a benefit. Furthermore, they are all about you. Shouldn’t the reasons why a customer should select you be all about them? Try following the list, which tracks bullet-for-bullet with the list above, instead:

  1. Because our company is ISO 9001:2000 certified, you can expect us to be able to consistently and reliably deliver what we promise.
  2. Because our company was founded in 19XX, our procedures and infrastructures are mature and will be able to quickly accommodate your needs.
  3. Because we have significant relevant experience, our staffing resources include professionals and our management is already familiar with the issues that we will face. We will know what risks we need to mitigate the day we show up and instead of struggling to come up to speed we will be to focus our attention on delivering added value.
  4. Our company’s proposal manager will draw on over XX years of experience to be able to quickly make the right trade-off decisions to ensure a successful point.
  5. With over 10 gazillion employees, Our Company has ample human resources to quickly staff the project with qualified personnel.
  6. Our ability to produce high levels of customer satisfaction has directly led to increased demand for Our Company and a rate of growth that exceeds 100% annually.
  7. Your project will represent a larger share of our business than it will for a larger company and we will respond with commitment and gratitude. You will have our attention and focus, and Our Company will not be distracted by mergers and acquisitions or stock performance.
  8. Our company will be able to start your project immediately and continue to operate without having to simultaneously grow our corporate infrastructure. Our ability to serve you will not be wholly dependent on the efforts of a couple of key people who must also serve all of the company’s other clients. Because of our size and excellent financial position, Our Company has the infrastructure to take care of your needs without having to keep one eye on our cash-flow position.
  9. Our excellent performance record lends credibility to our ability to deliver as promised. We encourage you to call our customer references and ask them.
  10. Our commitment to our customers has been demonstrated repeatedly on our previous projects. We encourage you to call our references.
  11. Our company will leverage our experience with your environment to fulfill your needs.
  12. Our company’s approach represents the best value to you because we will support your goals and mission as well as the needs of this project.
  13. Our company’s approach represents the best value to you because we will support your goals and mission as well as the needs of this project.

Which is more convincing? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If you walk into a car dealer and they say "trust us, we sell more cars than anybody else!" Is that enough? If they tell you that they are a small business does that convince you to do business with them or scare you away? What about if they tell you that they are the largest dealer? If a sales person introduces him and tell you that he is committed to you, does that make you ready to select him to do business with?

Your reasons for why the customer should select you must pass the So What? Test Read each bullet in the first list and ask yourself "So what?" There might be a reason why they matter, but if you haven’t stated that reason, you haven’t given the customer the reason why they should select you. You must show the reader how what you are claiming is going to benefit them. If you don’t take the time to show them why your qualifications, why should they do business with you?