Barbara has 30 minutes to make a Very Important Presentation to a Very Important Prospect. She’s polished and professional. So is her presentation – at least the first two slides of it.
Then her expensive new laptop whirs, clicks, sputters – and dies. She pulls out her spare laptop.
But it won’t work with the projector. The clock is ticking. The Very Important People are getting restless.
Barbara’s doomed, right?
Not at all.
“Well, I guess that’s enough about us,” she says with a smile. She turns off the projector and steps over to a whiteboard. “Let’s talk about you.”
At the top of the whiteboard she writes: “Your needs – as we understand them.” She lists several items and turns to the group. “Tell me more. What have I missed?”
Before long, the entire room is engaged in spirited conversation. Barbara’s writing as fast as can as her prospects talk and talk and talk about… themselves. As the end of her time slot approaches, she tries to wrap up. But the prospect’s CEO urges her to continue.
She never gets to the recommendations she’d prepared. She doesn’t have to. By the end of the discussion, the CEO has told her what he expects her company to do for them.
Barbara’s technical disaster was a gift in disguise. Instead of a show, she was forced to lead a conversation — with her prospects and about her prospects. That’s what they wanted in the first place.
Whether you’re using PowerPoint, whiteboard, flip chart or the back of the napkin, you can do what Barbara did.
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