One of the best things I’ve learned from 20 years in the marketing industry is incredibly simple. The way you present yourself to a client or potential client is important. You’ve heard most of the rules of presenting before: dress appropriately, know your audience, do your research, come prepared. Right? But I have found that by simply changing your pronouns, you can change the way your clients see you, listen to you and respect you. One little word can make all the difference. Maybe you’ve never thought about them, but simply choosing the right pronouns can mean greater success in your new business presentations.
You are not just there to pitch an idea. You are not only representing them, you are one of them. It’s a very slight modification that gets noticed every time.
How? It’s simple. Instead of saying “We’d like to target your audience…” try saying “We’d like to target our audience….”
Instead of saying “We think you’ll see great results.” Try “We think we’ll see great results.”
Speaking as though you are part of their team lets your client know that you think like one of them. That you are as invested as they are.
It will make them more comfortable around you, and you may end up learning more about the company, their objectives, roadblocks to success, budgets, etc. If you think like an insider and talk like an insider, chances are, they’ll treat you like an insider.
Next time you’re in a meeting with a client, or presenting to a potential client, replace the second person pronouns (you, your) with first person pronouns (I, we, us) and see how much further it takes you… I mean us.
Your turn: Do you use first person pronouns when speaking and presenting to (potential) clients?