Well that was interesting… I’ve just completed a Skype call where I was cat.
Somehow my avatar settings had changed and as I appeared on screen I looked distinctly feline with the mouth and movements synced with what I was doing and saying. Luckily my colleagues found this and more so my increasing panic highly amusing. It was a good job these were close acquaintances and the call was a discussion about a training session we are due to run together. But it could have been so different…
What if this had been a client? Or indeed a prospect?
It certainly gave me a crude (albeit funny) reminder just how important preparation is in any business interaction.
Yes preparation takes time, but if you don’t consider it worth preparing for that’s probably an indication its not worth doing anyway.
The minimum is to be clear on the objective for any call, meeting or presentation. If this is not established there will be an overall lack of direction and the interaction can quickly become a waste of time for all concerned. By setting an objective it is almost impossible not to think about what will have to be said or done and so planning starts to occur naturally. As such positive outcomes are more likely to be achieved. As this thinking takes place so a check list can be made of what support material or extra information will be required and the ensuing communication will be more professional. Any time spent considering the other parties to the intervention, their viewpoints, what they would like to achieve and what style would suit them best is also invaluable and easy to do – just a little time invested.
For sales people preparation should be a hard wired habit as and time taken to undertake it considered an investment not a waste. As the (paraphrased) saying goes ‘prior preparation and planning prompts performance that’s perfect’.
Or should that be ‘purrfect’?!