Yesterday was a very busy day and not much time to do more than pop on take a quick look and pop back off the site. But this morning I want to share a bit about a major appointment I had yesterday. What was an appointment quickly turned into a test!
The gentleman that I met with represents a company with international associations and contacts. We have been building a relationship with each other for a few months and he has been eager to sit down and have an appointment. Which finally happened yesterday.
I also was "training" yesterday, I had another associate with me who wanted to see a presentation in order to learn how to do it herself. My contact was quite happy to her her join us and as we sat down and got started I fell right into my natural presentation mode. There's a big expectation when you are dealing with business people (executives) that you (A) not waste their time and (B) educate them without a high pressure sales pitch.
That was the most work I've done in a presentation in a long time. My contact wanted to talk about everything but the information I was presenting, and also to engage the observer in the conversation. Of course that meant a lot of redirecting on my part. in the end however after what I felt was the most unorganized worst presentation I had ever done he leaned back in his chair and began telling me about a couple of other gentlemen he wants to introduce me to.
As he put it, he's at a point in his life and career where he has what he wants, he' not hurting. Now his focus is on helping his trusted contacts to succeed. That horrible presentation was both a test and a class. It was a test to see how well I could keep my composure since things weren't going according to my plans, and for my collegue a great demonstration on dealing with a difficult contact.
He complimented us both on our professionalism and labeled it one of the best presentations he has had in his business life. He even gave me a critique on what really stuck out to him.
1. The observer did just that until the presentation was over and we got down to the small talk, she took notes and when he tried to draw her into the presentation she deferred back to me.
2. There was no high pressure sales pitch simply a presentation of the information and supporting materials at which time I left him with corporate materials on how we could help with the issues. He was also very impressed with the materials and the way it was neatly presented in a folder with my card attached.
3. I was focused. When he would turn the talk to something else I redirected it back to our purpose for being there.
So as a result he is introducing me to two heavy hitters. One in the Insurance industry and one with an international association. Had I not passed the test he would not have been prepared to open doors for me on this level, he would still have opened doors with small little local companies but that's it. He's also looking at opening doors with many of his clients too all because I did things right and maintained a professional demeanor. He also gave me and my associate a parting tidbit to keep in mind
"Remember executives don't deal with salespeople, they deal with consultants. Always be a consultant. . Your job is to inform and then educate on the solution, never sell."