Know your audience.
Who are they, what role do they play in the decision-making process, and what are they looking to get out of your presentation? What is their agenda?
Let’s look at some examples:
1. Tom and Sue are small business owners. They are researching new ovens for expanding their pastry shop.
Roles: Tom and Sue are equal part decision makers.
2. Lisa and Bob are married and relocating. Bob wants easy highway access. Lisa cares about school system, curb appeal, and budget. They are ready to take the next step but they don’t know what that is.
Roles: Lisa is the decision maker and Bob is a decision influencer.
3. Gary is the Chief Technology Officer of a company. He has concerns about hackers breaking into his computer network. Gary is not very familiar with security hardware and he’s looking to understand why your equipment is better than the competition. He’s under deadline to make a final recommendation to the CEO who usually goes with Gary’s recommendation. Gary will bring his engineer and security expert to the meeting.
Roles: CEO is decision maker, Gary is the primary influencer, the engineer and security experts are secondary influencers
4. Frank is a mid-level manager and reports to the person that runs their company’s marketing department. Frank is a good friend with the sales rep from your competitor and intends to buy from her. Frank’s plan is to have you save him the time and effort of doing his own research. He’s specifically looking for blind spots in your offering that he can use as justification to continue buying from his friend. (I know, this is rotten, but it’s real and it happens.)
Roles: Frank is a detractor and an influencer