Don’t fall into the trap of using your potential client’s culture instead of your own.

As service providers, it can be tempted to make a client feel like you are just like them.  This may be by changing your typical attire during the sales process.  At the end of the day that client should be buying you and your team because of who you are on a daily basis when they work with you.  Yes, dressing up for a CxO is a necessary thing.  But dressing too far outside of your comfort zone can be as bad as wearing jeans to a black tie affair.

This reaches its pinnacle when watching people try to convert their standard presentations to start-up speak or try to suddenly portray a social media foundation.  Inappropriate uses of the words ninja or evangelist will give you away and may be interpreted in ways you wouldn’t expect.  Cultural words used incorrectly are like giant red flags.

Be yourself – don’t be your client.  They will appreciate it because everyone will be comfortable and in their worlds.  Either you are a match for them or not.  Pretending to be when you aren’t is just wasting time.

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