New business is about them, not us

Four of us are sitting in the reception area of a new business prospect’s headquarters. We’re one of fourBored_2
agencies to be invited to present today and, as you might expect, we’re filled with nervous excitement.

Deb’s rehearsing her lines. Marya is wondering what questions we’ll be asked and Caryn’s re-reading background information.

While we’re all focused on what we want to say and how, we’re also mindful of what really makes the difference in new business. Despite this being a combination credentials/creative ideas pitch, the prospect really doesn’t want to hear that much about us.

As Millie Olson of Amazon Advertising says, ‘Forget about credentials presentations.’ Prospects really don’t want to know arcane facts and figures about your firm or its work.

Instead, prospects want to tell you about their pain. They want you to know what’s keeping them up at night. They want to know how you’ve solved similar challenges and, critically, how you’d partner with them to solve their issues.

The more prospects talk, the more likely you’ll be hired. It sounds simple. But, many of us forget to ask questions and listen to the answers. Instead, we rush pell-mell through our slides. And lose the opportunity as a result.

How will today go? It’s hard to say. But, we’ll be sure to stop and ask questions as we go. Because it’s about them, not us.

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