I was in a pre-presentation meeting yesterday. This is the meeting you have to prepare for the actual presentation.
We invited a gentleman to join us who had recently retired as a senior executive from the company we are pitching.
We asked him what the best way was to present to this client, what their protocol was internally, how they operated, how we could best get a “yes” out of this presentation so it would move us up to the next level.
He explained to us in detail how it worked at his ex-company. That there is indeed a protocol that needs to be followed.
One of our guys said “Fine. But we’re not going to do it that way. I’ve made large presentations for a long time and have always been successful, so thanks for the input, but we’re going to do it my way.”
The gentleman from the client side said, “No disrespect, and I’m sure that you have always been successful, but that’s not the way this client operates.”
Our guy couldn’t hear him.
Or, didn’t want to.
He was too busy talking - about how he’s always been successful, how maybe that’s how the client does it, but now they’re going to learn a new way, his way.
The meeting was three hours in length. Our guy, who claims to have always been successful, talked for two and a half out of the three hours.
I have always found that those who talk a lot usually do so because they’re trying to convince others how “smart” they are.
The fact is the smart ones are the quiet ones. They know that the most important part of talking is listening.
As for the presentation, we don’t have a chance.