26 Feb, 2009 | by Peter Botting
1. The easiest way to get what you want (i.e. a client’s money) is to give them what they want – or need. Whose money is it anyway?? It’s all about them, their company, their problems, their fears, their needs, their threats and their wants. Research your audience, personalise your pitch by using relevant case studies and only use admissible and appropriate language and jargon. Only talk about yourself and your company, when relating how your qualifications, experience and abilities can help them get what or where they want.
2. Find out what they want – where they are and where they want to be. Listen aggressively and ask questions. Pay attention to what they say – ask questions to gain more detail or to check that you have really received what they have broadcast, summarise back to them your understanding of their situation, take notes, use their names. Prescription without diagnosis is pants!
3. Treat people like people – People buy from people they like and trust, especially with the declining trust in that corporate logo on your business card!!! Don’t rush in and knock people over – assess and respect the speed and mood of your audience. Be in the room, employ attentive eye contact, and switch off your Blackberry! Focus on being a human who can help. Long-term loyalty is built up by real long term commitment – relationships count, especially in a credit crunch. (Pitch productivity success rates are great for managers, rubbish for pitch teams – focus on gaining or retaining happy trusting clients one at a time – the numbers and the ratios will look after themselves.) The risk/reward ratios of the client are what you should be focusing on – your impact on them, their career and their organisation is much more than just the project investment or your fee structure. It is where you as a professional could take them, their organisation or their career. ROI and a trusting relationship are a very strong pair. continue reading »
12 Feb, 2009 | by David Kaufman
I am searching for a word, maybe it’s a phrase, but it eludes me. I don’t say that often, I take pride in my ability to communicate complex ideas creatively and succinctly. Yet, I can’t find that perfect word to describe a state of being many of us in Process Management live in every day. How do you describe being the best but also continuously improving, at the same time?
I recently had the opportunity to speak with a leader in Store Operations at a growing retail company. He had some interesting observations on some things I take for granted. His point was simple. In an organization with a young talent pool and longevity measured in months, not years, labeling something as “best” sets a standard to achieve, not exceed. After all, once you’re the best, don’t you put your feet up and relax? This got me thinking, is the concept of “best practice” outdated? Can you implement a “continuous improvement”?
Let’s take a step back and define these terms. Keep in mind, language is important. In many organizations, like the one mentioned above, words are taken at face value. What is a best practice? It is a method that has been identified as the best approach yielding the best results. What about continuous improvement? Again, just like the name implies, it is an approach, or more an organizational culture, to continuously improve.
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5 Feb, 2009 | by Richard Vinhais
I think most would agree that effective verbal communication is a fundamental skill needed in order to succeed in both business and life. Whether it’s in the board room or a family outing, how you articulate your thoughts ultimately defines who you are in the eyes of others. These instant perceptions could very well dictate your opportunities for career advancement or even opportunities to build personal friendships.
Let me present you with a hypothetical scenario. Frank (nice innocuous name) has just been tasked to research a potential solution to a lingering business issue within his organization. He did the appropriate legwork and put together a solid business case to justify a project idea that will once and for all address that pesky problem. He prepares a sharp Power Point presentation to make his pitch enticing. Afterwards he’s greeted with a lukewarm response from the audience but is still confident that the supporting data is too compelling for his idea to be shot down. Several weeks go by. Frank’s then told by a colleague, in passing, that the project idea was canned. How could that be, he thinks to himself? The solution was sublime. Oh well, I guess there was just no budget for it. I have no control over that. Life goes on. Several months go by when Frank learns that the project finally gets the green light. He feels a deep sense of vindication that the organization finally came to its senses.
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