Do you know how to set meaningful expectations when you're presenting or selling to a group or committee; especially when you're not the one in the lead to win the deal?
One of the keys is to find a way to do something different to break through the clutter. As you set your upfront contract, or the agenda of the presentation as to how you want to proceed for that day, one of the things we neglect to do is leave time for feedback at the end. That needs to be agreed to in advance.
What it would sound like is: You set the agenda, "We're here to share our capabilities. I want you to feel free to interrupt, ask questions..." (all the agenda things) "and then what may make sense is at the end we'll leave the last five to 10 minutes to be able to go around the room and get some candid feedback from each of you. I’d like to hear whether or not you think we hit the mark or miss the mark, and certainly, if we miss the mark, it would be important for us to find the reasons out why. Is anybody uncomfortable with that?"
It gives you a tremendous way at the end of the presentation to say, "Alright, Joe, let's start with you. Hit the mark? Miss the mark?"
You can begin to define who your white knights or your champions or your black knights or your detractors are.
Also, if they say, "That would be fine." One of the things I say would be, "In a meeting like this with five or six of us in the room there are times when something occurs to me about a question I should have asked that perhaps I didn't ask because it escaped me during the meeting. Is anyone uncomfortable if that happens if I reach out to you independently to ask a question?"
And largely people say, "No, that'll be fine."
By asking this question, it gives you the right to call every single person in that room as a pretense to find out how that meeting went with an additional item and to work through if they are, in fact, champions or detractors. Your competition will not be doing that.
If you're behind and its game day and you're presenting to groups and committees, find a way to break the rules.
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