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Your pitch; your story; your market

I trust that some of you also took advantage of this “long weekend” and took leave today? In any event, I hope you will enjoy tomorrow for a bit of R and R.

I have recently sat with three of our beneficiaries as they interacted with businesses to whom they could supply.

They are all different, with different businesses and at different stages of business.

Yet they all managed to connect with the business owners in a real way. This has resulted in support for one; and promising indications of future business for the other two.

So let me share what Yandisa Langa; Terine Lott-Cupido and Akhona Tekana applied in their presentations as we look at 4 aspects…….

Passion

All of the beneficiaries portrayed an enthusiasm and passion about their business which was infectious. Akhona spoke of his coming alive when he creates his wood products.

Application: Do you genuinely love what you do? My son Jon is a travel photographer who says he would pay someone to do what he does!

Authenticity

This aspect is about being clear in your communication; connecting with people; yet remaining the best version of you.   I loved how Yandisa remained the likable, humble young man he is, even while talking about a project that required considerable confidence.

Application: Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.    Judy Garland

Value-add

There is a principle called the WIFM principle. It applies in most situations, and ii is not a bad thing to bear in mind. It stands for “What’s in it for me?”   Business people are asking themselves how this project; person or product could possibly add value to themselves. It is not wrong or right, it is just a reality. I appreciate how Terine spoke on Friday, echoing at least three times, how her service offering would add value to the two companies represented in the meeting.

Application: Higher prices may be negotiated when you consistently add value in your offering. How can you add value to an existing product/service?

“Listeningship”

I know that this word doesn’t exist in the English language (yet!), but I rate this as a skill that should be right up there on your must have skills. What skill? The ability to really, really listen to the cues, and clues that your prospective client gives. Afterall, the meeting is not just about your presentation, but also for the client to see whether you can give a bespoke solution to their “pain”

Both gents and lady did this, but I want to highlight how Terine used confirming questions (from a place of understanding and experience) which showed the business owners that she “got” what they were saying.

Application: In Afrikaans, there is a nice saying, “Hoor jy my?”  That means more than have you heard my words, but also means “have you listened until you understood”. Do you show active listening skills when engaging with your clients?

Building strong businesses, and resilient entrepreneurs

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