By the time you're the CEO, General Manager or leader of a business, you may have already reached the level of promotion you hoped for as an individual. So self-promotion is probably not something that occupies your mind every day.
Yet the advice that helped you to get where you are today can be applied to promoting your business to your customers, in much the same way as it helped you to rise through the ranks in your career. Here are five principles to look at in a whole new way.
1. “Volunteer for extra projects”. Take a look at what's going on inside your customer's business. What would they love to do, if only they had the expertise or time? Volunteering to take on an extra project that helps the customer to achieve their goals shows what you can do, as well as a willingness to work and to learn.
2. “Get experience outside your job role”. People who work in other industries for a period of time usually come back with great ideas and transferable skills. Where else are you working already, and where else could you go, to bring fresh insights to the customer?
3. “Come with a solution, not a problem”. Listen to what’s going on for your customer, and find people who can help in areas that you (and they) don’t have expertise. Don’t try to do everything: you’ll be more highly regarded for your own expertise if you can introduce complementary (not competing) experts too.
4. “Make your achievements visible”. Promotions are often won by the employees who are best at “selling” their results, not necessarily delivering the best results. The same applies here. How are you using your access to the customer to tell them about the great things that you're doing for them, and for other customers?
5. “Be indispensable, but not overbearing”. Not every great idea of yours is going to meet with a welcome reception. Doesn't mean it's a bad idea. Maybe it's not the right time, or there is something else that's competing with it. Avoid the worst of this by understanding what the customer’s 12 month calendar looks like - what's going on inside their business, what’s a high priority and when. Understanding when to introduce your argument is the key to having it land with a receptive audience.
|Robyn Haydon is a business development consultant who helps helps service-based businesses that compete through bids and tenders to articulate the value in what they do, command a price premium, and build an offer that buyers can’t refuse. Don’t let others dictate how far and how fast your business can grow – take your power back! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the white paper for the Beyond Ticking Boxes program.|