Preppers: A Success Story

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“I’ve got a big call this morning.  Really big.  The biggest.  Let’s all get on a call 15 mins before and get everyone’s roles straight so we knock this out of the park!”

Okay, how do you think that big client call went?  Not bad? Pretty good?  Great?  Or, it could’ve been better, there were good points, I didn’t see that coming, let’s regroup and set up another call. Or maybe, that really was not good…

This is about show prep.  What’s show prep?  If you have ever been involved in the theater, as an actor, director, producer, stage manager or the rest of the crew, you know these people prepare for each and every show.  They meet and go over every detail, based on previous shows and current conditions of the cast, crew, and location.  Even the weather is considered.

Here’s my point – sales professionals, a lot of them, operate with their hair on fire.  They go from call to call to call without so much as a breath of fresh air, gulping down a few sips of coffee and diving into the next thing.  How much are you really preparing for that next big call? Ten minutes? Fifteen minutes? Here and there between calls?

Instead of flying by the seat of your pants, think about yourself as well as the others on your team who are participating. And then prepare to be prepared.

Preparing everyone is one of the most important things you can do to guarantee your success on your next big call. There are partners (including third parties!) who need to be aligned.  Internal stakeholders like legal, finance and YOUR BOSS!  And then, you must unite all agendas, personalities, and messages to create a seamless and cogent message to your audience.  

I was talking to a client recently who had three 40-minute calls before presenting an idea to a client scheduled for just 30 minutes!  There was 120 minutes of discussion, agreement, disagreement, slide deck review and even role playing with the entire team present.  (Key: everyone needs to be present on these.  No late arrivals!) And guess what? The call went great and to their surprise: no surprises. Two hours of prep = 30 outstanding minutes.  

When you do a real pre-show prep (maybe with a little role-play built in), you get to see what the outcome looks like before it actually happens.  You see the future, or at least a plausible one.  It’s not perfect every time; OK, let’s be honest, it actually is most of the time. Because you’re ready for the unforeseen. Is that a better percentage than you are used to experiencing?  Take the time, be intentional with your preparation, and you’ll be ready for those unplanned and unforeseen events too.  When the curtain drops, and the audience heads home, doesn’t everyone enjoy hearing the positive reviews about their performance?  Take a bow, hippo.

“Just how prepared are you for greatness? Just because 2024 is half over doesn’t mean you can’t make changes!  Maybe taking a deeper look makes sense.  What about a personality assessment?!  Here’s a link to discussing it right now!

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