Be Careful Not to Hyperbolize
When you’re giving an elevator pitch or talking to a prospect, it can be tempting to throw in a statistic about your most successful project. Perhaps in the wake of one of your projects, you managed to reduce a client’s energy spending by 50%. While it’s great to put your best foot forward and to demonstrate the significant impact your product or service can have, be careful that you don’t hyperbolize.
If someone told you they could save you 50% on your energy bill, you’d probably be skeptical – and rightfully so. Regardless of whether or not this percentage is true, it just seems fishy. So rather than presenting the outlier (your most successful project), use a realistic yet compelling statistic if you’re going to talk numbers at all. Here’s an example:
“I see you're in the healthcare industry. We worked on six hospitals last year. I was just looking at the summary report we prepared internally, and I'm pretty sure the average amount of energy we saved each one of those hospitals was around 12%.”
(In this hypothetical situation, one hospital ended up saving way more than the others. However, I chose to use a lower number that was believable and still compelling.)
So, don’t let your prospect come to the conclusion that you’re exaggerating or that you’re not a trustworthy person, even if you did in fact produce extraordinary results for one of your clients. Additionally, if your prospect is not deterred by your hyperbole and he or she chooses to do business with you, you’ve set expectations that may be difficult to uphold. Bottom line: be compelling without being unrealistically compelling.
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