In many of my meetings with (interim) treasurers the topic of “landing the assignment” pops up. The average treasurer is quite technically, treasury content oriented. They assume the best expert will get the assignment. Reality is a bit different. In the market for interim assignments, as in the labour market, wrapping is also important.
Perhaps you can consider the following three aspects:
Know your strengths.
This is your strategic market positioning. People do not believe in “an expert in all aspects”. Analyze what you are good at. If you land a position or assignment that is not in your comfort zone, you set yourself up for failure;
Match your offerings to the request.
Read the job description, the website of the company, Wikipedia, LinkedIn and other information sources. Try to ask your questions and listen before you present. Broadcast what is most relevant for your meeting partner and rise above your “standard pitch”;
Accept that it is a numbers game.
You cannot control competition but you can increase your options. Call, mail, and meet potential decision makers and influentials. This is typically something the average treasurer is not good at.
The average expert will only execute the first aspect properly and expect success. This is what one of my professors called “the old Philips marketing strategy”. Most potential clients and employers are not willing to ignore aspect 2. The interim managers I know who are always in an assignment are not necessarily better at aspect 1 but do rule in 2 and 3.
If you want to apply the above, start by talking with former bosses and colleagues about aspect 1. Train your presentation and interview skills to improve on aspect 2. Block time in your calendar for aspect 3 and outsource to us.