Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Attention, That's the Point

attention signImage via WikipediaQuite often the pitch you get or the pitch you receive asks for your time. "Could you spare 30 minutes to meet with me to discuss...", or "I just need 5 minutes of your time to show you the value of our service".

But it isn't time. It's attention.

In this age of distraction and "multi-tasking" (a misnomer, but that's another post) it's not easy getting someone's attention. But the point is, it doesn't matter how much time you have been granted. Make sure you get their attention and use that attention wisely to make your point.

For instance, don't write a long email describing your product if your intent is to get a meeting. A long email is a "homework assignment",  and no one likes homework. Keep the email brief, grab their attention with a genuine statement, and ask for the meeting. Once you have the meeting (and their attention), then you can tell them more.

Realize that when most people say they're too busy to meet with you or they're too busy to advance your project, it's not because of a shortage of time. It's that there are too many things that demand their attention - and the perceived benefit you're presenting does not justify attention.

So, if you're not getting attention, fix the perception (are you not articulating it effectively?) or fix the benefit (does your product need improvement?). 

Thanks for your attention.
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