I was talking to one of my new “New Year Resolution” clients yesterday and I asked him why he decided to improve his presentation skills this year. He said it had been something on his mind for a few years now, but it finally “clicked” with his boss after his team lost another project in the presentation round. They realized that they were getting to Round Two of the bid process often with their proposals, but they we’re only getting 20% of the projects after the presentation round. When they tabulated that low percentage, they instantly decided to start improving their presentations to increase their hit rate.
I then asked what would a 10% increase in their closing rate mean to their firm. He said, “Millions!” His excitement energized me and he added that the millions will be over time. He and his boss realize that the investment in improving their presentation skills will easily pay for itself this year with one additional project and that they’d reap the benefits for years to come. Even if they only work with me for a year, their improved skills will not disappear next year.
It is great to see a professional, and a boss, understand both the short-term and the long view and that good presentation skills last an entire career. I look forward to working with him and his boss this year.