On the Saturday before publishing this article, I — a New Jerseyan — attended a North Carolina presentation. The best thing I got out of it can be summed up in one sentence: a business presentation is only as big as we make it. There are some astonishingly simple ways to make a routine event look like the Super Bowl, and to make major event look boring and worthless. It’s all in how we treat it, which feeds into how our prospects see it.
Where are the Attendants From?
Will there be people coming to your presentation from other cities? What about other states? Hell, let’s go big and visualize your event attracting people from other countries. It could happen; some of your business partners could have family flying in for a reunion, and bring them to the event, complete with handfuls of half-eaten barbecue food.
If people are traveling far and wide for the sole purpose of attending your event, then there is something big going on. Think about it: most people wouldn’t even leave the house on a rainy day unless they had to. But your event has people coming in from different cities and states, because they want to be there. Some people find that to be a powerful selling point because they love to be a part of a group. In this case, a group so awesome that people wanted to travel for hours to an unknown land just to join it. So let your prospects know that people will be arriving from all over.
What do They Do?
While we’re at it, let’s add your teammates’ day jobs to the conversation. While talking to your prospect, ask them what they do for a living. If they work in a similar position as someone from your team, let them know that you can connect them with that teammate. Most people are attracted to those who are similar to them, and will gladly show up just to meet a potential business partner for their personal endeavors. Maybe your guest is a writer, and someone on your team does publishing. Maybe your guest can sing, and your teammate makes beats on the side.
If the host of the event is a top achiever in your company, and used to work where your guest does, that’s even better! How powerful would it be if you could tell the guest who did your hair that they’ll meet a former hair stylist who is well-liked in the entire company, constantly wins awards and contests, and hosts a weekly training call? Most people love a great story of an underdog whom they can relate to, so promote some underdogs.
No one is Bigger Than the Team
It’s easy to look at the top people in a team and compare them to everyone else in a negative way. Some people feel that just because they only had one guest means that they don’t matter. Not when John has 10 guests, as per usual. Some people feel that because they’ve never won a challenge means that they are insignificant, and have no business being at an event that acknowledges the many achievements of the person sitting next to them.
What if I told you that you’re a winner in other ways? If you drove for 10+ hours to be there, didn’t you do something right? If you’re still committed to your company after years of struggle, rejections, and naysayers, isn’t that worth talking about? If you recently made the decision to upgrade to the top compensation plan when the people around you are hesitant, wouldn’t that make you a benchmark for them to follow?
Nobody is bigger than the team. We all have something that makes us somebody. So why not talk about it? If Maxine — who has never brought a guest to a presentation — suddenly has one, and the host congratulates her and incites the rest of the team to applaud and cheer for her, would the guests care that it was Maxine’s first guest in 3 years? No! The guests don’t know any better; they’ll see Maxine as a superstar because they see her being treated like one.
Not only that, but energy is contagious. The host of my event went all out and invited people to take pictures with a woman who had recently received a bonus for completing a challenge. Guests had actually lined up for pictures! Some people who see that will be sold just on observing how their potential team will be treating them.
Routine for You, Special for the Guests
Some people are reluctant to attend events just because it’s a routine thing for them. They’re used to being around their teammates, maybe every week, and it gets old after a while. Naturally, it shows in their attitude and voice. Even without meaning to, they can repel prospects who can sense those vibes over the phone.
Again, prospects don’t know any better, nor do they care how old it is for you. If you treat the event like a lame routine, you’ll repel too many people. If you treat it like a special occasion, you’ll pique their interest.
It’s up to you: how do you want your prospects to see your business event?
Make a nice day!