“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.