While conversation is a common word to describe blogging, it's every bit as important when it comes to presenting your capabilities to a prospective client. What's more, it's a prospect predictor to who you are and the kind of client service you'll provide.
Having been on the client side, let me just say there's nothing more insufferable for a prospect than sitting through a 40+ slide PowerPoint presentation about agency capabilities. I especially liked being talked AT for 40 minutes and told to hold all questions until the end, so as not to disrupt the flow of the presentation. As if there actually were a flow.
Here are ten tips for your next agency capabilities presentation:
1. It's the prospect's meeting, not yours. You're there only to impart information that's relevant to them, not to expound upon what fascinates you about your own firm.
2. Engage in an actual conversation. Toss the PowerPoint. (Or if you can't help yourself, at least minimize it). Get to know one another. Everyone thinks capabilities are about qualifications. Maybe it's actually about capabilities. Are you capable of being fun, likable, smart, funny, human, etc.? Would I want to spend two hours with you in a car? Or would I likely jump out of the moving vehicle?
3. See to it that everyone in the room is well prepared about the prospect as well as its competitors, industry trends, etc.
4. Illustrate, don't explain. Tell interesting (short) anecdotes to make your point.
5. Show rather than tell. If you want someone to think you're creative, actually BE creative in every aspect of what you do rather simply list it in Times Roman as some kind of core agency strength.
6. Structure your presentation/conversation not in terms of what you want to TELL them, but in terms of the take-aways. Think of it in the bigger picture as it relates to the two or three conclusions you want the prospect to reach about you.
7. Ask great questions. In my mind, he/she who asks the best questions will make it to the next round every time.
8. Use the time to carefully evaluate the prospect in terms of whether it's a good fit for you.
9. Be yourselves, otherwise you'll never really know.
10. If you think it will be a good fit, then go after this prospect with a smart follow-up strategy - something specific to your meeting and designed to advance the relationship.
Let me know how it goes!