You have prepped for the Convention. You are showcasing your Product or Service and you are in flow. Then someone raises their hand and contradicts the very thing you just so proudly declared. They claim they are the end-user and their experience was 𝙣𝙤𝙩 as you presented it.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗱𝗼?
This is what happened to a very senior level executive with a European based organisation some time ago, during an overseas Industry convention he was presenting at. He shared this uncomfortable encounter during a recent Think On Your Feet® workshop I was conducting for his organisation. In this case, the presenter had no other information that could explain the how and why of this customer’s “complaint”
Here’s what our discussion determined to be the best way to put your best foot forward, as you are thinking on them. Blending Think on Your Feet® Bridging Techniques and our own experiences we would recommend,
🎙️ 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽 𝟭: 𝗣𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲-𝗧𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗮 𝗱𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵: You need that little bit of time, more importantly you need to feed your brain oxygen in this fight or flight mode. And all you need is six seconds.
🎙️ 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽 𝟮: 𝗔𝗰𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲𝗱𝗴𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻/𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗼𝗽𝗶𝗰: Obviously something has gone wrong and for them it is a “pain point”. Acknowledging this can go a long way in showing the person you respect where they are coming from. This demonstrates a willingness to dialogue (which is better than getting defensive). And will win you points with those observing too. For example: “Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I had no idea…” or “I can sense you feel very strongly about …”
🎙️ 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽 𝟯: 𝗔𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗔𝘀𝗸: Not for defects, failures nor admit liability – just yet. You do not have all the facts. You can however apologise for the experience. And ask if they would be willing to meet you after the talk or during the break, so you can find out more – and bring the data back to the organisation. For example: “I am sorry to hear you had to encounter this. Would you be willing to share more with me after this session/during the tea break?”
𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗽𝘀 𝘄𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗕𝗘𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗘 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗸 𝘄𝗲 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲. For example before a convention I would always want to get some
👍 basic information about my audience – like which organisations are going to be in the room – especially if I am citing case studies
👍 thoroughly research and know intimately every case study presented and perhaps even
👍 do a pre-session survey of the audience’s needs and expectations
These are just some of the steps we can do to safeguard ourselves against those unexpected questions. And hopefully some of these tips will be helpful when you need to address the unexpected. Contact us to find out more.