When meeting with a potential client notice if you have their full attention or is it elsewhere? I attended a meeting with one of my clients to read the energy and keep the meeting grounded. Fred is a producer. He works to develop relationships with national and international ad agencies. One of those agencies asked to meet with Fred and his creative partners to discuss a project. They wanted to know how the technologies Fred used on other projects might make theirs go viral.
Taking Time to Be Present
Fred met with his creative partners a half-hour before the meeting with the potential client to set the energy for the meeting, to be grounded in their agreement and to have a clear vision of the outcome they wanted.
What happens when your potential client is spaced out?
The ad agency producer, Paul, came to the meeting with an art director, Sam. I noticed right off that the producer was not present. His attention was elsewhere. The task was to find a way to bring Paul’s attention and awareness fully into this meeting. No one had met Paul or Same before so this gave the opportunity for introductions with hopes this would bring his attention to the meeting. This did not do the trick. I kept saying hello to him asking about his role at the agency and his clients. That did not do the trick either. He answered my question but his attention was still distracted. His gaze was not at us but “out there” somewhere.
Staying present when others are “spaced out” or not focused in the moment is hard but important to keeping the conversation grounded. So Fred paid attention to staying present.
The Importance of Being Present
It was important that Fred and his team have a grounded and clear communication with this potential client if he wanted any chance of securing this contract. Fred turned his attention to Sam, the art director, and noticed that he was focused and enthusiastic to have the conversation. It was clear that Sam would be the client at this meeting.
The creative discussion went well. I noticed that Paul’s attention slowly came into the room. I could see that he had a lot of energy in his space that made it hard for him to be focused in the moment. By the end of the discussion Paul’s attention was more with us but part of his attention was still outside on something else.
We knew Paul had to be present and aware of what was going on and so the challenge was how to make that happen. Fred suggested that they move onto the creative floor and see examples of the technologies the team had developed. Getting Paul moving and focusing his attention in this way did the trick. Fred got his attention, as Paul is clearly a guy who is at his best doing the work rather talking about it.
In the end Paul and Sam got a clear understanding of what was possible from Fred’s team and invited a proposal and a bid on the project.
Every business owner knows the importance of making an impression on that very first contact. That impression depends not only on what the business owner or staff present but also on the space of the potential client to hear and receive the presentation.
Taking the time to make sure that you and your team are grounded and have a clear vision before the presentation is the first step. Being aware of your potential client and the space they are in is also important. Finding a way to bring their attention and awareness into the moment will determine their ability to hear what you present.
I hope this insight will be of use to you in your next presentation.
Best wishes on your success,