When your team heads out to a customer’s location for a presentation, how well prepared are you? Sometimes you will be coming in at different times from different locations. You will probably have print materials and perhaps visual materials. Will you bring your own projector or will one be provided? Who will be at the meeting? Are you sure? Do you have an agenda–and did you prepare it or did they? Dress code, time zone, directions to the correct building and the proper room?
I once drove from Indianapolis to Columbus, Ohio, for a meeting at Battelle. I had been given a street address, but when I arrived (in a downpour) I discovered that the address refers to an entire campus of buildings. I had no specific directions, no phone number, nothing to point me in the right direction. From then on, I was determined to have a detailed Road Show plan!
It’s process, not magic. Work with your team to create a check list of every conceivable detail that needs to be covered. Assign responsibilities and due dates–for example, agenda completed by the team leader and verified with the prospective customer by seven days prior to the meeting. Business cards, Name Tags, Table Tents gathered and prepared. Laptop and projector packed. Spare batteries and universal connectors included. Assign the team member who is responsible for the technology. Will you need note pads, sticky notes, white board markers? We’ve all been in customer conference rooms that are bereft of important tools because they are constantly in use.
Schedule the date when your presentation must be drafted. Schedule rehearsal time and invite those who will critique. Allow for review and editing time plus production time. Who will bring the written documents, or will someone be shipping them ahead of time? To whom?
On a personal level, I suggest that your plan has a place for each member of your team to check off dry cleaning, shoe shine, hair cut or manicure in advance of a critical presentation
Be certain that everyone on your team has detailed directions, including names and phone numbers of people you can call if you have problems.
And when you arrive, assign someone to check off the last few details–cell phones off, smiles on, handshakes firm.
You will exude the confidence that comes from knowing you have everything under control, and you will make a powerfully positive impression on your whale.
Do you have any favorite road show strategies?