Turning an Incredible Executive Career into the Interim Career You Want: Asking for the Business
In our ongoing blog series, we explore ways to grow your interim career and secure the opportunities you want. In this blog, we promote strategies to help you differentiate yourself, ask for the business, and increase your chances of securing an assignment—just by asking the right questions.
What’s happening: Competition for interim assignments continues.
As we all know, the term “interim executive” is now a household name. Everyone’s familiar with the concept, and many people know executives searching for assignments. When a role becomes available, companies can often find 2-3 candidates immediately. If you’re one of those candidates, the trick is differentiating yourself to land the assignment.
What’s required: Connect first, ask second.
During your conversations with potential clients, it pays to pitch yourself correctly, then ask the right questions. Not only do you want to learn about the potential assignment, you can also use the time to set yourself apart from others. The discovery call is the perfect time to reinforce who you are, what problems you solve, and why you’re the right fit.
Being Purposeful: How to Weave In Your Value
When talking to referral partners or potential clients, use the atTRACT method, based on a book from Joanne Black (No More Cold Calling: The Breakthrough System That Will Leave Your Competition in the Dust).
T – Tell the client or referral partner about what you do, the value you add, and your WHY.
R – Remind them of your unique expertise (including examples of your biggest wins and achievements).
A – Explain your ideal Audience (and why you’re well suited to help them)
C – For your referral partners, ask for 1-2 Contacts or introductions
T – Touch base after your initial conversation – Ask them to connect on LinkedIn.
3 Things to Have on Your Client Ask List
After you’ve connected to a potential client, now it’s time for the ASK: “Can I team with you and add value to your business?” As part of that discussion, be sure to include the following:
Discuss the company’s current problems. After introducing yourself, ask the client to describe their biggest immediate challenges. Listen closely and take notes. Empathize and build a connection with the client about those troubles.
Define the specific problems you’re qualified to solve. Name your expertise and unique ways you can help solve those problems. Throw in your years of experience, your estimated timeframe for solving one or two of the challenges, and the ways you can add value to the business.
Isolate the “ask” and reduce the risk. Clients are often hesitant with their “yes,” so buffer the tension with a trial — “I can solve A, B, and C in about 60 days. Then we can accelerate the pace for the other challenges.” By simply getting your foot in the door, you’ll have a better chance of securing a long-term partnership.
Want to keep growing your interim career? Implement tips from our entire blog series, and stay close to Cerius Executives to land the roles you want.