No matter how strong our interpersonal skills may be, it’s amazing how often we forget to tap into another person’s needs.
For example, I was on the phone today with a brand. I had an opportunity which would cost $0 and provide an immense out of value directly aligned with their brand strategy.
I was so confident in my idea so I shared it right away on the call… I started with the value the idea would provide the brand and then explained it.
It’s essential to start any great pitch with what’s in “it” for the other party – After all, most people are listening to their own radio station WII FM – What’s In It For Me?
Since I started with the value add, where did I go wrong?
I forgot to start by listening… By asking the other person what they were currently working on.
Many of the deals our company closed have been directly tied to initiatives other companies already had in motion. Since we care to build meaningful relationships and listen to their needs, we were able to fill them with value.
I believe it’s a lot easier to fit into another person’s agenda than it is to push your own.
My fiancé Rachel disagrees with this strategy –
“Some people don’t know what they want or need. If you can explain your vision in a way that connects and provides value for them, you will close a deal.”
Rachel knows what she’s taking about – Yesterday her VC fund, Muse Capital, had their second exit with Clarity Money being acquired by Goldman Sachs.
There are many different strategies to close deals in different situations – You have to find what works for you. The beauty is there isn’t one way.
Simple language also plays a role in the process.
For example, “Is there anything I can pitch for?” vs. “Is there anything you’re looking for?” are two completely different statements. The first is an “I” statement asking for value to be given in return and the latter is a “you” statement willingly offering value to the other person.
We rarely take the time to look at the tiny intricacies of language in the value creation process, but they can make the difference between deal or no deal.