How to Prep for a Non-Presentation “Conversation”

“We just want to meet your team and get to know you.  The meeting will be a conversation. We don’t want you to prepare a presentation. See you Wednesday.”

That’s the message one of my clients received this weekend as they were invited to come and discuss a large opportunity. They want me to advise them in how to proceed.

Of course, you have to do what the prospect wants. If they don’t want a presentation, then no presentation it will be. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t prepare. You should prepare for the questions like you’re going to be delivering a presentation.

Here is what I recommend. 

  • Pick three key messages and make sure that you find a way to weave those answers into the conversation. You will get a couple of “softballs” like “So what is your approach?” or “What are the key distinguishing factors about your firm?” Those are questions that you can turn into a mini-pitch that lays out your “story” in three key messages.
  • Gather the team and brainstorm all the possible questions you might get.  Determine who will take each question when it arises.
  • Come up with answers. Make sure that you know how to give tight answers, not rambling ones. The best answers are one or two sentences with some explanation.
  • Make sure that you establish a light fun tone for the conversation. This should be fun and everyone should exude a sense of passion for the opportunity.  The goal is to make them think your team will be a fun group to work with.
  • Practice the answers.
When a prospect says they want something informal, that can be a trap. Don’t think that you can avoid preparation. The best sellers are always rehearsing.

 

 

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