Tag Archives: Winning New Business

Questions, often without warning

Q: “Sniper Control” How do we handle those questions or statements that come at anytime often without warning in our meeting?

1 Apply the advice in ‘Handling Q&A’ and ask the person a question back, for example “Before I answer, what is behind your question?”  Questions give you control.

2 Ensure you have accommodated all the political opinions in the room and if you think a question will arise that will stump you, ask a colleague for advice before you leave for the meeting.

Q: Presenting without PowerPoint, Can we?    A: Yes, especially with creative ideas. Perhaps you can demonstrate what it is you wish to sell or create the idea in front of the meeting on a flip chart? Better still get them to build alongside you – bring a pad of paper and marker pens to the meeting (No batteries, Windows updates or power cables are needed for these techniques)

Say it in 7: Develop the Game Plan

The Say it in 7 approach to structuring your pitch, story or proposal starts with the client/customer’s pressing challenge and ends on actionSay it in 7 is the methodology to create a pitch/proposal/idea and present it in 7 slides.

In 7 slides we can communicate ‘why our solution’ and back it with evidence that is appropriate to the people who will make the decision.

With fewer slides, each slide has to work harder.

With fewer slides, there is more opportunity for the customer to fill in the blanks with Q&A

Next Steps: The last slide (slide 7) asks for action. We want to get a ‘yes’ rather than a ‘maybe’.


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Prep for Meetings – Yes, its checklist central . . .

Again, with the same team, our thoughts turned to overall meeting preparation, and again the list is longer than we think!

  1. Personalised PowerPoint – Have you? Aside from adding their logo and changing the date
  2. Case studies included and are relevant
  3. Anecdote: What personal stories can you tell
  4. What will you teach them in the meeting?
  5. Metrics – because aside from stories people take numbers away from the meeting
  6. Investment analysis – how is this company doing?
  7. Right audience in the room – are you sure?preparation
  8. Industry – how is their sector doing?
  9. Competitors – how are their competitors doing?
  10. LinkedIn – and try not to leave it to the last minute
  11. Research individuals – see #11
  12. Facebook – might as well see #7
  13. LinkedIn – Connections
  14. Roles – who on our team is doing what?
  15. Three run throughs please, if the meeting is that important
  16. Right resources
  17. Run through your demo in live mode – if you have one
  18. Salesforce what is the company’s entry
  19. Lockdown 48 hours prior. Meaning the presentation is ready 48 hour before the meeting, it is agreed and no content needs to be changed and so the only thing we do is rehearse this

Anything to add?  Contributors will receive a free copy of 22 Questions: How to win more business


Tech Check – get ready for that meeting

I was working with a team the other day and the conversation turned to technology mess-ups in meetings and how disruptive this is.

  1. OK, I said what do you need to check? Here is what we came up with:
  2. Wi-Fi – will there be a connection in the room?
  3. Cables – do you have all your leads?
  4. Dongles for your mobile Wi-Fi
  5. Beamer Projector – will they have one?
  6. Thumb Drive with spare copy of my presentation
  7. Take a Backup PC – if the meeting is that importantteck prep
  8. Battery Charger and is your battery charged!
  9. Giveaways for the delegates? Sweeteners and leave-behinds
  10. Clean Desktop – move all the icons off the desktop into one folder
  11. Skype and other alerts on your PC turned off.
  12. Browser Bar clean and tidy if you are doing a demo
  13. Clickers and mice to hand and with fresh batteries
  14. Software malware checked – if needs by
  15. Water – (for your body technology)

Anything to add?  Contributors will receive a free copy of 22 Questions: How to win more business

STORY THOUGHT . . . And the reason is . . .

The reason is . . .Practise using the phrase “the reason why this is so important, “or applicable, “or relevant”. Incorporate this component of your story, in every meeting.

This will give people a reason to buy into your story.

More story tips to follow.



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Link to buy (great value) here


Yes, but will they remember?

With some much of attention in presentation development being focused on impact and story telling and delivery skills building communication for memorability might be missed. Art Markman Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin gives us some great advice in his HBR article Getting an Audience to Remember Your Presentation* Your presentation might be about getting people to recall later (explicit memory) what you said or encourage people learn a skill (enabled by procedural memory). Most of the time we want to influence the explicit memory.

A few things therefore to help people remember.1369847707_4085_memory

  1. Right sequence.  The first things said are best remembered, and those towards the end. So don’t bury the recommendation/central idea somewhere in the middle.
  1. Make connections. Making links between your key points increases the amount of information people can recall from what you presented: So, lots of verbal and graphic sign-posting please.
  1. Make ‘em work. Try things like letting  your audience to vote for alternatives, make bets on what might work best or encourage them to summarise the message for themselves. Lest they forget. These approaches will maximise your influence as well as your impact.


*Copyright©2015 Harvard Business School Publishing. All rights reserved. Harvard Business Publishing is an affiliate of Harvard Business School.

Consistency in New Business

One of the publishing delights this year was Pensieri by Nicholas Bate http://nicholasbate.typepad.com As with all his books I devour the contents and see the thinking in the context of new business. This page about being consistent struck home especially because people who win a lot of new business are totally consistent.

Scan 55

Nicholas’ books are on Amazon and there is a lot of inspiratioScan 54nal pieces free on his website.