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In Pitching Projects and Products to Executives, author Dane Howard interviews executives and product managers from renowned design firms and corporations like Google, Apple, and Adobe, who share their insider take on how to effectively move projects and product ideas forward. Video and multimedia producer Richard Koci Hernandez weaves the interviews together into a captivating visual narrative. The soft skills course shows the practical techniques, processes, and communication styles employed to sell to executives more effectively, and to bring ideas to life.
(Music playing.) Tim Barber: As an agency, we are always pitching ourselves and pitching our experience and pitching our team. I feel like the important thing when you are pitching yourself is you have to be incredibly confident, but at the same time very humble. That kind of mix is the kind of thing that makes a client comfortable. The confidence says to them, "These guys have been down this right before.
They know exactly what we're asking of them," and so it alleviates their concerns on that front. Then the humbleness says, "Oh, I can work with these people. They are just like me. They are smart bunch, but they know what they don't know, and they're willing to embrace that part." If you have both of those characteristics, you are going to create a sense of comfort in the client, and you are going to be more likely to have a successful pitch. (Music playing.) (Music playing.) Michael Gough: Most of the good stories are around that sense of accomplishment, where you have come up with an idea for a design, or your team has come up with an idea, and you've been able to successfully promote it and push it through all of those obstacles.
My worst stories would be around the times where all of those exact same things happened, but I happened to be wrong. So one of the things to be careful about are once you have the skills, you can be incredibly persuasive. You can bring your ideas to bear in the process. Sometimes you have to watch out for those traps, where you've barreled through the process, you've used your persuasive skills to come up with some way to make the point, land the job, or force it through your corporation, and then sometimes you've forced it through in some ways where you missed something really important.
(Music playing.) (Music playing.) Charles Warren: Everybody's got goals. So look at the people that you're meant to sell, and think well, what is it that they are trying to do, and how does this idea you have support what they are trying to do? I think so many times we just ignore that, and we just sort of show up and say, "Isn't this cool?" But if you go in saying, "Hey! I understand your goal is to reach this new set of users, and I've got half an idea about how we might do that.
You want to work on it with me?" is much more seductive. (Music playing.) (Music playing.) Tim Barber: When I am considering an applicant, there are really two things that are most important to me: your ability to think--the second thing that's really important is versatility.
In an agency like ours, the workflow is really dynamic, the nature of the clients is quite varied; you have to be versatile in order to be successful in this environment. We tend to think of it as kind of a meritocracy. If you're capable of doing something, somebody is going to ask you to do it. You know what I mean? I can also do these other things; I have this sort of constellation of abilities that I could bring to the table. (Music playing.) (Music playing.) Charles Warren: Looking at competitors I think is like looking into a rearview mirror, because whatever they are doing, they thought of a year ago, so why do that? And everybody reads the same blog, so you can't out-read your competitors.
So really, the most reliable way to figure out the future is by looking at the people that you want to serve, I think, and that's where our creative ideas come from. (Music playing.)
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