Does acquiring a new project for you, connotes concealing your weaknesses and mastering the art of deception? It’s time to grab your business prospects’ attention by not just what you’re selling (a lot many are doing that already), but by hitting the sweet spot with the most unique/scarce asset you possess.
“At Facebook, we try to be a strengths-based organization, which means we try to make jobs fit around people rather than make people fit around jobs.” ― Sheryl Sandberg
Picture this―someone who’s designed tailored suits for a long time, who even has a marketing acumen (but not the experience) might be more useful sitting behind the desk of a shop selling customized suits, compared to a marketing expert. But, only if s/he focuses on their strengths.
Let’s go over a few musts’ that will help you tweak your own perspective, to call attention to what you know best.
1) Repackage: Brace it with your strengths
Simple it may sound, but the questions,‘What are your strengths?’ or ‘What can you bring to the table?’ can make or break your chances of winning over your interviewer or a prospective client, respectively.
These questions are actually a disguised multilayered query, typically combining questions like―
But thankfully interviewers/clients aren’t looking for any straight shooters, they only want people who can get things done and exceed their expectations in it.
All it requires is a tweaking of your frame of mind, and deeper focus on the good qualities you possess.
In the aforementioned example, the case can be made more solid if the designer’s familiarity with tailored suits is called attention to. It can edge out many marketing specialists.
2) Play the scarcity card: Be the ‘Oasis’ in the desert
Once you’ve decided HOW to position your strengths, position yourselves a tad further through the rarity you possess. Mold it according to the experience you have in order to sell against your competitors.
Let’s say you’re pitching to a bicycle firm (mainly targeting adults) wanting to expand their market and grow their sales.
Think back a bit―if you’ve ever worked for a healthcare professional, then rather than basing your pitch on your marketing acuity (which nearly all your competitors would do) fuel your argument with how cycling benefits the heart.
Likewise, if you’ve worked for a metal/alloy company before, you can position yourself to be well-versed with the nuts and bolts of the cycle’s durable metal body.
If handled confidently, you can build scarcity around your strengths, and use it to your advantage by positioning yourself as a preferred, limited resource. Also, this would create a separate ground for you, away from where your competitors are battling for the spot.
3) Get them to your turf, whet their appetite & unleash your winning strategy
At the time of pitching, your argument should be chiselled to engross your prospect. Lure them to your turf first, then commence with the actual persuasion.
Drawing from your unique abilities and experiences, tell them, what you intend to do and why. If they want you to expand their client base, tell them how your unique understanding of the subject can assist them.
For instance, if you’re pitching to an upcoming sports gear manufacturing firm in their launch, having experience in selling children’s brands can work in your favor. You can foreground the advantage in tapping into the kids market first.
The first step is obviously to create a connection between your experience and what they are seeking (i.e. bringing them to your turf).
The second step should be to create a suitable roadmap for them. Tell them if priced a little less, it’s easier to entice children to go for a new sports gear brand. Once you gain traction there, you can move up and take on the more established, well-known sports brands. This way, along with focussing on consolidating the firm’s position in the market, you can infuse the need for your niche experience in implementing it.
Having an ace marketing background can help you, but only to an extent. At some point in time, it would get to the specialty you can offer. Most successful businesses bag projects continually because they understand those businesses.
In fact, by positioning your strengths favorably, you tacitly do a favor to the client as well, in seeing through the clutter. Put differently, clients too want the process of spotting the right company/candidate to be uncomplicated, but they shroud it in a complex package.
Weaker ones’ fall for the trap.
The management culture has long harped on curing weaknesses, not stressing on talents enough; simply because nobody’s taking your talents away from you.
Picture yourself as a locomotive and your weaknesses as your derailers. Once you’ve understood how to stay on track, you can practice on harnessing your performance and leverage from your strengths.
3 Smart Ways to Focus on Strengths and Win From Your Competitors