Why do pitches for new work so often miss the mark? Bad marketing materials? Too expensive? Don’t have the right connections?
Although all of those can be true, a more basic reason is right in front of our eyes. We simply don’t try hard enough to walk in the shoes of the buyer. The best way to build insight and empathy with a buyer is to follow a simple mindset— RULE.
Take the time to learn everything you can about your prospect. Do a Google search to read the latest news on the organization. Review every section of their website, learn their history, read their blogs and thought leadership, delve into their social media content—especially on LinkedIn and Twitter. Gaining a thorough understanding of the organization’s personality, viewpoints and business operations will position you for more productive conversations with a potential client.
Dive deep into understanding what the prospect’s world is like. Why are they are interested in hiring help for the issue they’ve brought to you? How will they measure success? Who are their internal clients and what motivates them? How are they being evaluated? What business issue will your product or service solve?
Follow the old age: listen 80% of the time and talk 20%. Most marketers find that hard to do as we get excited about collaborating and sharing our knowledge. But by listening intently, you will often hear the client tell you all you need to know to pitch successfully.
It is easy to trot out credentials and details about your experience. The home run is when you carefully explain how your experience ties into their specific problem or opportunity. Your job is to connect the dots with what they need to know about your offering. If you’ve done a great job on the research, understanding their point of view and listening carefully should come naturally.
The great thing about the RULE mindset is that it can be done without a large budget. It simply requires trying to walk in the shoes of your prospect.
This article was inspired by our founder, Elonide Semmes, recent advice quoted in Forbes.