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Can you look this way please

Years ago, while working for a Top 50 global software company, I attended day long meetings at a large multinational based in Parsippany, NJ, that we were trying to set-up as a reseller of our payroll services, tax and accounting software.

As expected, the agenda was set with different department heads parading into a cramped boardroom to present details regarding their business division. They’d navigate through a lengthy power point, rarely looking at the members around the table. Questions would be asked at the end, follow-ups would be written down, and then they’d leave.

By mid-afternoon, I could barely remember who’d presented earlier in the day.

Then, a VP who ran one of the hospitality divisions came-in, sans Power Point and without hand-outs. He had a fist full of business cards, walked around the table and quickly shook hands with everyone, while handing-out his card. Then, he confidently sat at the head of the table, looked around the table, and said that he wanted us to focus on him, and what he was saying, because it was really important.

The VP was animated, used voice intonation superbly and spoke passionately about the Hotel chains that were under the control of his division. I learned more from listening to this VP than the rest of the presenters combined, and to this day I still remember that there were roughly 2,000 employees in one of the hotel chains that would be a good fit for our company’s payroll and pay card options, which was a big deal with many of the employees being immigrants that needed to send money home.

That meeting was over ten years ago! Not bad considering he left us with no handouts. I recall very little, if anything, about the other divisions.

Oh, and unlike the other divisions, we actually left the boardroom with a call-to-action to get the business in place for this VP’s division.

It’s that time of year where you should evaluate how effective your sales and marketing presentations are – and if your message is getting through.

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