If you have recently become a contender for a new role on a project within an organization, you may be in the thick of gathering data to prove you are the right person (or team) for the part.
Being in this position, while exciting, can cause a lot of anxiety, especially when so much is riding on that new opportunity—your company’s credibility, the livelihood of a couple individuals, and your standing amongst competitors, just to name a few. So, when the time for consideration arrives, how do you measure up to your potential client’s expectations and ensure you don’t start off on the wrong foot?
Here are a few tips that will help you land that highly coveted opportunity:
- Come ready to learn. We want to be perceived as actionable individuals that show up with a plan. But often those initial plans are based off a few facts and a lot of assumptions. The key is to not waltz in thinking you have all the answers and limiting your focus on what you’re delivering or how you’re doing it. Shift your attention to understanding the problem you are trying to solve and how your offering is going to improve the current situation. Don’t be afraid to level set and ask questions so you don’t fall short on what is expected from you.
- Be authentic. Throw the “fake it till you make it” attitude and “smoke and mirrors” demo out the window. Don’t let your success ride on how good of an actor you are. Give yourself some credit. Take some time to understand why you are being considered for this new opportunity. Don’t base your success on what you think your potential client wants to hear; base it upon what you know is true. Be confident about what makes you strong, back it up with facts, and be transparent about what you don’t know or what you can’t offer. Own it. But don’t let the latter dominate your story. Base your story on your level of commitment to getting to where you need to be, if you aren’t there already. Your potential client values someone that is trustworthy, clear on what to improve, and motivated to perfect their weaknesses.
- Be motivated for the right reason. One of a client’s biggest turn-offs is knowing or even feeling like you don’t have their best interest at heart. It’s business, and all parties know that money is a motivator, but it shouldn’t be what your offering is based on. You know the feeling. When you see a deal you like, but there’s that statement “Low prices starting from x amount” or some writing in fine print that gives you the impression that you’re not getting the full story. No one likes to get conned, and you are only as successful as your satisfied clients and the level of impact your contributions make. Ask a lot of questions so you can fully comprehend what the client wants, anticipate what you think they’re going to need, and set clear expectations of what it’s going to take to accomplish their goals so the results aren’t so variable or difficult to gauge.
- Be a team player. For communication to freely flow, and for peace of mind that nothing is going to get missed on a project, your potential client needs to see that you are capable of being a great team player. Try to be relaxed and come to your potential client with a good attitude. It means the world to have someone on your team that is easy to talk to and able to work well with others. It takes the pressure off a client to know that a piece of the project will be in good hands, and that they will have less tension and fewer things to worry about with you on board their team.
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