Most of the people I work with are technically minded consultants (rather than full-time sales people). And I’m often told by these people (or their clients) that they could do with improving how they think on their feet and communicate with clients under unplanned pressure.
I agree. Most need to work on this. I’ve worked with enough of them to know that they tend to cling on to their technical expertise, and being ‘right’ (sticking to what they know) and are less comfortable letting conversations veer towards the client’s business where they have less understanding, comfort and credibility. They often prefer to pitch and stay in apparent ‘control’ of the conversation as they believe their credibility comes from their technical genius.
It comes from the part of their technical genius that meshes beautifully with their client’s business, and their client’s human needs, wants, desires, hopes and dreams too.
There’s usually a chasm between what makes them tick and genuine commercial value. But technical people don’t always explore crossing that chasm. As this often requires being prepared to think on your feet and communicating with clarity and impact. Something that doesn’t usually generate their feelings of confidence and credibility.
Crossing the chasm is risky for them, and requires adaptability and a willingness to explore commercial fit.
So, technical people – you’re going to have to learn how to think on your feet, adapt, and talk with credibility.
Matt Abrahams discusses some ideas that may help here at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
You can easily shave 15 to 30 minutes off this 1 hour video by clicking on the YouTube settings cog, and selecting 1.5 speed or 2 speed in certain places. Soak up what he’s saying and scribble down some ideas to schedule actions on this week.
Over to Matt who’s going to discuss how to ‘Think Fast, and Talk Smart’