Truthfully, the traffic wasn’t bad and the 90-minute drive could have been much worse, given the foggy conditions. I arrived in plenty of time and was well-prepared for the meeting. Having done my homework, I was confident that my presentation addressed all of the questions and concerns that this group had raised and was genuinely looking forward to the meeting.
Something happened. Somewhere between locking the car door and sitting down at the conference table, I decided to radically alter my strategy. Something just didn’t feel right. I was ready – too ready, maybe – to give a presentation on investment process. I knew who my competition was, I knew the group of financial professionals that had invited me to speak, but more importantly I realized at that moment what it was I wanted to accomplish. That’s what prompted the change.
Knowing Who You Are
Figure out who you are. It sounds flaky, I know! Yet, in pursuit of clients and opportunities, we often change shape to try and become what we think the client wants us to be. We leave that little bit of ourselves behind that makes us who we are. In fact, what we leave behind is the interpersonal “stuff” that builds relationships. How do you expect a prospective client to form a relationship with someone who is merely an actor on a stage? It seems to me you can communicate more passionately and more effectively when everything you say comes from the heart.
Sure, every interaction with a client or group of people in a professional setting needs to have an objective. But, rigid adherence to a formula written by someone else doesn’t always work. You need to write your own formula. You need to find ways to deliver your critical business messages in your own voice, with your own stories and anecdotes. THAT is what will create the connections that lead to long-term business success. (continued)