Any Tips For Me?

Tomorrow I have to be a part of a presentation for work.  We are trying to win over a new customer and this presentation is to try to show them what we (when I say we, I really mean me mostly) can do for them to improve their business.  Luckily I don’t have to lead the presentation or anything, big sigh of relief there, but I do have to be the subject matter expert.  So I will be the one to explain the details of what we can do to improve their business in the areas we will be discussing.

Anyone who has read my blog to any extent will understand when I say that this goes against everything that I’m comfortable doing.  Let’s see…….this will entail thinking on my feet, since I will have to answer any questions that they may come up with.  This is my biggest worry, having to answer questions without knowing what they are going to be ahead of time.  Speaking in front of a group of people, including the CEO and other highly placed executives is not exactly high on my list of things that I’m looking forward to doing either.

I’ve never really done this sort of client facing meeting before, at least not at the stage where we are still trying to get their business.  So I’m interested to see how it goes, and when I say interested I really mean worried.  Tonight I will be going over everything that we will be discussing and trying to come up with some areas where they will have questions.  I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to foresee things from this perspective but, I’ll do what I can.  I’m sure sleeping tonight will go ohhhh so well, you know there may be a few hundred thoughts running through my mind when my head hits the pillow.

I thought I’d see if anyone had any tips for dealing with a situation like this, something I don’t normally deal with but I know it’s not exactly a strange thing for most.  Oh, and if you have a nice motivational speech for me it’s much appreciated, hahaha.

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16 thoughts on “Any Tips For Me?

  1. You are the expert, so you can answer any question they pose that is in your area of expertise. You already know the answers, you just don’t yet know the questions.

    If you can’t think on your feet
    Make sure you take a seat

    Go, JM, Go!!!!

  2. Also, you can ask a question back to the other person before answering their question.

    You can ask for clarification,

    or ask what perspective they are seeing the issue from,

    or simply say I am not exactly sure what you are asking.

    All of these things give you a little extra thinking time if you need it.

    You never need to be in a rush to answer someone’s question. A thinking pause is quite acceptable in most situations.

    1. I may just do that. My problem isn’t with knowing the answer to the question, it’s with being able to access that information when the time comes. Sometimes I can have trouble with that.

      Thanks for the advice Roger 🙂

  3. Are there going to be donuts? 🙂

    When they ask a question, write it down as they’re asking it. Tell them you want a record of what they ask. It gives you time to think about the answer. Just a few seconds as you jot down some keywords.

    Might work.

    If not, just hand the questioner a jelly donut… that’ll keep them occupied {:~) !

    Cheers to you

  4. Sorry I just read your blog this morning before your meeting. I’m sure you’ll do fantastic! I love doing presentations and talking in front of a group of folk — especially strangers (big surprise, huh?). Unfortunately, you’re starting to doubt yourself because you’re thinking too much about it. Roger’s right: you’re the expert. And they’re going to ask you questions you do know the answers to — and, if for some reason you don’t — the best reply is: “That’s a great question. Let me do a little research on that so I can give you a full and more detailed answer andI’ll get back to you by tomorrow morning. Who has another question?” Be not afraid — instead, embrace it as a powerful and wonderful fun day! You get to shine…and I’m sure you will!

    ~Nadia.

    1. Thank you Nadia. You’re right I was thinking far too much about it, but this morning I felt much better about the whole thing, I was as prepared as I was going to be……

      Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it the meeting has now been put off for a couple weeks………so now I get to think about it for a couple more weeks, hahaha. And I have a suit on and everything, so now I’m ever so slightly overdressed for work, ha.

  5. So you still have the meeting to look forward to, huh?

    My take on high level meetings: we’re in this together, and they are as human as me. If I don’t know the answer to a question I’ll tell them that, and promise to get back to them (happens in more meetings than you’d think).

    That’s about it really. It’s only a big deal if you think it’s a big deal. They sure don’t think so. It’s just another meeting for them.

  6. Hello, it is me again. I just wanted to tell you the latest news.

    I finally found a copy of Jitterbug Perfume. After all the discussion about it tho’ I am afraid to start it.

    Why?…Because what does it say about me if:

    1) I like it?
    2) I don’t like it?
    3) I understand it?
    4) I don’t understand it?
    5) all of the above?
    6) none of the above?

    8) ???

    1. Roger, that is awesome!

      Whether you like it or not, it says nothing about you one way or the other. I tried to get my girlfriend to read it and she….just……couldn’t. It is not for everyone, nor is any of his works, they are……different I guess. I mean I don’t hold it against my girlfriend that she can’t read Tom Robbins……..well okay maybe a little, but in a good-natured kind of way. 😉

      Please if you do “attempt” to read it, let me know what you think either way. I’m so excited for you!

  7. I fully agree with all of the comments above. Remember to be yourself and try to identify with the customer. If you’re the SME, the people on the other side of the table will look at you as the honest, informative, non-threatening, non-sales person. You’re not supposed to be the slick, fast talking sales rep.

    When you are trying to win someone’s business, you need to keep in mind they are going to be looking for the benefit to them and the questions they ask are trying to get that out of you. Once in awhile you get the person trying to play “Stump the Chump” but if you can get it turned around to what the benefit is to them, you’ll have it made.

    Good Luck as you move forward. I’ve been doing sales support for a long time and it can be a lot of fun.

    1. “You’re not supposed to be the slick, fast talking sales rep”

      Yes, that’s true. I guess I hadn’t really thought of it that way. I have been trying to be better at making anything I do discuss slant towards how it can benefit “them”, as opposed to just telling them how it is.

      Thanks for the advice and for the different perspective. It was nice to meet you!

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