Listen Your Way to a Job Offer or Consulting Assignment
by William S. Frank, President/CEO of CareerLab®
Many brand-name companies have hired me as an executive coach and outplacement consultant; yet I’m “an introvert masquerading as an extrovert.” As an inward-looking person, how do I sell and how do I coach clients to interview?
A key operating principle is “Listen 80%, Talk 20%.” I try to put others on a pedestal and let them be the star. I don’t talk much, but when I do, I try to say something concise and valuable. In this realm, I truly believe less is more. And I call it “selling without selling.”
Mark, you need to keep your mouth shut! You talk too much. The CEO doesn’t give a damn what you think or want or know. What the CEO cares about is what he thinks and wants and knows. So why don’t you ask him about his strategic vision, about his hopes and dreams for the company. Why don’t you listen 80% and talk 20%. And put the CEO on a pedestal. See what happens.
After the interview, Mark said, “The CEO loved me. I asked him about his strategic vision, about his hopes and dreams for the company . . . and he talked for 90 minutes straight. I was hired. I will be the new CIO with 8 direct reports and 260 employees in 30 countries with an annual operating budget of $70 million.”