When meeting with a potential client having their full attention makes all the difference. If they are distracted or have their attention else where you are losing your opportunity to pitch your capabilities. If they are not fully focused on the moment with you, they will not hear you. To pitch your capabilities your audience has to be present and focused.
I attended a meeting with my client, Fred, and his potential client. Fred is a producer and works to develop relationships with national ad agencies. One of those agencies asked Fred and his creative partners to meet and discuss one of their projects. They wanted to know how the technologies Fred used on other projects might help their ad campaign to go viral.
Fred met with his creative partners for a half-hour before the meeting to set the energy for the meeting, to be grounded in their agreement, define roles in the presentation and to have a clear vision of the outcome they wanted.
The agency producer, Paul, came to the meeting along with an art director, Sam. I noticed right off that the Paul was not present. His attention was elsewhere. We had to find a way to bring his attention fully in this meeting. Introductions did not do the trick, so I asked Paul about his role at the agency and the clients they work with. That did not do the trick either. Paul answered my question, but his attention was still distracted. His gaze was not on us but out there somewhere.
It was important that Fred and his team have a grounded and clear communication with the ad team if they wanted any chance of securing this contract. Fred turned his attention to Sam, the art director, and noticed that Sam was completely present and enthusiastic.
The creative discussion went well. I noticed that Paul’s attention slowly came into the room. He clearly 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 with Sam, Paul’s attention was more with us but part of his attention was still distracted.
We knew it was important for Paul to be present and aware of what was going on, and so the challenge was how to make that happen. I suggested that we move out to the creative floor and see examples of the technologies Fred’s team had developed. Getting Paul moving and focusing his attention in this way did the trick. We got his attention. He is clearly a guy who was at his best doing the creative work rather talking about it, so he was intrigued.
In the end, Paul and Sam got a clear understanding of what was possible from Fred’s team and invited a proposal to bid on the project.
Every business owner knows the importance of making a good first impression. That impression depends not only on what the business owner or staff present but also on the space of the potential client and their ability 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 fully with you in the moment will determine their ability to hear what you present.
By the way, Fred was awarded the contract.
Best wishes on your success,