Thursday, September 26, 2013
One hazard of a PR organization is that we like to sell ourselves and talk up our skills and contacts. What we should do is listen to potential clients, and listening well is a matter of preparation. One can't hear until he assumes the worldview of the person who is speaking. A second piece of advice also is important -- know it all but don't be a know-it-all. Use knowledge to ask good questions. It is the depth and sophistication of queries we make that shows the other party we have done our homework and understand their challenges. Asking why surfaces the thinking behind another's words and deepens the conversation. One doesn't have to force oneself to be interested if there is natural curiosity about others and how they view the world. Even a boring person can provide insights if we know how to pierce the veil of ennui. So, before the next new business presentation, spend more time researching the prospect and less time buffing the PowerPoint that discusses who we are and why we are brilliant.