One of the judgments that will be made of you in any interaction you have in life is your level of preparation. Whether you’re playing a round of golf, taking a calculus test, or delivering a sales presentation, your preparation will show in your performance. Even if you pull off winging it, your lack of preparation will be obvious and you’ll be judged poorly for it. No one likes playing with / teaching/buying from someone who doesn’t take the time to prepare… no one. It’s either a sign of disrespect or laziness. Ok, let’s now take this proclamation of mine and multiply it by 1,000. That’s how you’re judged by architects, engineers, and consultants when you’re not prepared for your meeting. Which brings us to a bonus best practice in addition to the eight we shared on the webinar…
Be completely prepared. A specifier’s most important asset is their time. That can be said for all of us, but most security professionals are not billable. It’s very reasonable for a specifier to think “that 15 minutes that he was setting up for the demo cost my company $xxx.”
Whenever you have an appointment with an architect, engineer, or consultant, invest the necessary time to be completely prepared for the meeting. Arrive 15 minutes early in case it’s convenient for them to start early, and let them know ahead of time that you’ll be there early. If they can meet, great. If not, that’s ok too – you can simply set up early. Make sure you’ve gone through every possible technical glitch and prepare to overcome it.
Regarding your content, anticipate questions, and then more follow-up questions to your answers. Specifiers don’t ask questions for the sake of asking questions – they want to understand. Be prepared to help them understand. They’ll ask questions like “How did the customer react? Can I call your contact there? Which cameras were you tied into within that setting?” Anticipate these questions ahead of time and be prepared to answer crisply and with conviction. Preparation doesn’t just save time, but it makes your performance cleaner and more effective.