In business, it’s hard to get that happy medium. You want to be a wise owl, giving clients the benefit of your wisdom and suggesting the best approach to follow. At the same time, you want to practise humility and avoid telling them what to do.
As a Content Marketer and brand storyteller with 30+ years’ experience, I sometimes find that a challenge!
The truth is we cannot possibly know everything there is to know inside the head and business of a client or potential client, unless we stop, listen and ask, especially when helping them play out their business story.
Taking a pause to consider what another person is saying is a very powerful strategy. Those moments of silence can often feel uncomfortable. It’s so tempting to fill the void with our own words. When the other person is talking, it’s easy to interrupt with a comment of our own. However, remaining quiet, asking questions, then saying a wise word in season (after the other person has had a chance to finish theirs) can open up an entirely different conversation.
Your clients might want to talk about the real concerns keeping them up at night. Very busy, they may want to admit that they don’t have the bandwidth to take on a project on a grander scale straight away. They may be chasing up late payments and have a short term cash flow issue so might not want to commit financially immediately. Perhaps they are not entirely sure of their ‘Why’ for taking a new direction and cannot picture the destination they are seeking at this particular moment in time.
We sometimes need to act like a humble bumble bee, patiently pollinating a number of ideas before they come to fruition, not just a wise old owl.
So is it possible to practise wisdom and humility in business? To be a wise owl as well as a humble bumble bee, buzzing with ideas you are eager to make happen for your client? Yes, it is and sometimes it the hardest balancing act to get right!
As a business storyteller, eager to help others tell their story, I have to be eternally mindful that the customer or prospect is centre stage of mine, whilst I am their supporting act. Yes, we do have a great deal of wisdom and can see the big picture because we are very experienced and qualified. The client, immersed in the detail every day, has an equally important perspective. We need to work in tandem.
The show will go on and the story will have the right ending. Learn to listen, watch, wait and work together. All will become clear!
Katherine Ledger is a Content Marketer, business storyteller and the owner of Copy That Sells. If your story doesn’t reflect your true personality and heart towards your customers she’ll help you pan out your business’s gold nuggets and write them into marketing content which wins clients’ hearts. Contact her on +44 (0) 7703545117 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She’d love to have a chat!
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