Talk less. Listen more.
I am naturally a talkative person. For anyone that understands DiSC profiling, I am an Influencer (or an i). These people are considered:
Therefore, put me in a new or different situation and I am likely to go into hyper-drive. This can be great when ideas are being thrown around or energy around a meeting table is flat. However when meeting with clients for the first time, or needing to ascertain the problems they are looking to overcome this can sometimes be a barrier.
I have quickly learnt that the fastest way to success is not to talk about me, the amazing work I have done and people that have worked with me.
The better thing to do is sit back, have a selection of open-ended questions at the ready, have a good ear and let the client do all the talking. Once I have established their aims (blog to come on 'Knowing the clients aims') it is important to not promise what I could not deliver.
The 'I' in me when caught up in the moment tends to overpromise in the enthusiasm for the project. This may help in 'closing the deal', however it leaves little room for failure.
It is important to be realistic, identify the possible weaknesses and offer solutions if they were to occur. By doing this it establishes a greater sense of trust and builds the relationship, whilst showing the client that I am able to solve problems for them if they arise.
All of this because I suppressed my need to talk, and listened more.