Learn the three parts to a good introduction: reassure clients you’re who they should speak to, soothe their concerns, and telegraph your experience.
If you’re like most people, you spend the beginning of a call waiting for your turn to introduce yourself. And when the time comes, you rattle off your name, organization and what you own or lead or drive for your organization.
Here’s my version of that intro:
Hi, my name is Austin Govella.
I am an Experience Director with Avanade’s Digital Innovation Studio.
That’s terrible. It’s all from Avanade’s perspective. I’m not communicating in a human-centered, client-centered way.
When you introduce yourself in terms of what you do for your organization, you start the conversation off communicating badly. The introduction offers one of your first opportunities to forge a connection and tell your story. Your introduction isn’t about who you are. It’s about who the client needs you to be. To craft a good intro, take a couple minutes before the call and answer two questions:
- Who does the client want or expect to meet?
- What is the client worried about?
Who the client wants
Right away, your introduction should let the client know you are who they want to speak to. This probably isn’t your title. Someone created your title to identify you inside your company, not to identify you to clients. Your title most likely doens’t reflect who the client wants to speak to.
My title is Experience Director. Director means I’m senior and lead teams… at Avanade. Experience means I do experience design… at Avanade. Very few clients understand-at first glance-an “experience director”. So, when I meet new clients, I use a title they both understand and expect.
- Do they think of UX as mostly visual design? Then I’m a UX Designer.
- Is there another designer involved? Then I’m a UX Lead or UX Architect.
- Do they see UX as too low-level and want to speak with someone more strategic, then I might be a Workplace Experience Lead.