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Stop Talking About Yourself to a Customer

DSC_1318In consulting, one thing I've learned is that one of the things customers hate most is when you spend time talking about yourself. Ok, maybe they don't literally hate, but they couldn't care less about your company of what you do. So, don't talk about yourself or how awesome your company is for a customer, specially if it is one of your first contacts with them.

So, Here's the Golden Tip...

They want to hear about *their* company, about *their* needs. Start talking about their company, their needs, their challenges and how you can be the glue to connect problem and solution.

You know, these 60 PowerPoint slides you want to show to them? forget about it. Pay attention at their body language. Around the slide #10 they will be checking their emails, their Yammer network and...god forbid... they may even be checking their Facebook!!

Get Them Engaged

It's nothing against you. They are basically waiting for you to finish what you have to say so they can see afterwards how can you help them solve their problems. If they are patient, they will wait...that's normally a BAD sign. If not, they will start asking questions and skip jump your presentation script...that's is normally a  GOOD sign.

In the new marketplace, they already know your company, they already know what you do. They Googled you, your company.

Also get rid of those slides about your prizes, your offices in Tokyo or London. OK so you do need to show them, at least don't spend too much time talking about them. It is OK to show at some point but don't spend precious time promoting yourself during their time. I like this point: When you have a customer presentation think this way, they are giving you THEIR time to you so what do you do: talk about yourself or how awesome your company is? Stop that, please! :-) Cut to the chase, talk about real solutions for their real problems.

Be Careful With Your Perception

Don't oversell. They already expect you to be a good company, they already expect you to offer a quality service, they already expect you to offer a fair price (regardless if it is a premium service). If you tell them your differential are these things they will put you on the hook for it.

You Don't Need to Say Anything

You're there to listen. You're there to make open questions about their needs, problems. And maybe some one of your slides address that, so just jump to that slide. Don't need to go one by one until you get there.

You're There to Help Them, Not to “Sell”

Eliminate the sales jargon from your pitch. Be authentic, be passionate about your intentions which are "I am here to help you with problem X". in my opinion, is should be your/our messaging.