Yes! I have said it and I will always stand by it. Do not go into your next meeting, interview or sales discussion prepared. I appreciate that this may go against everything you have been told so far, but allow me to elaborate.
I didn’t say go “Unprepared”. Heading into any type of a discussion, transaction, conversation, interview or sales encounter being unprepared, that’s pretty much you setting up yourself for failure. Being unprepared means that you just couldn’t bother to dedicate the necessary time or effort to prepare for the encounter at hand, which means that you undermine the importance of the specific encounter.
On the other hand, going in a meeting, sales transaction or discussion by simply being prepared is still not good enough. Being prepared means that you have done just the right amount of gathering information and building up your knowledge, just enough for the specific situation The problem with that, is that when we prepare for a specific meeting, we only gather knowledge around that topic of discussion, hoping that the discussion will be a straight line. Needless to say, most conversations are not Point A to Point B. They tend to fluctuate, and change directions and if you have only prepared for Point A to Point B, it won’t be long before you are derailed from your tracks and you turn up on the loosing side of the discussion.
What you need to do is to always “Over Prepare”. You need to really dig into the possible conversations and really sink your teeth into every ounce of information you can gather reference the topics that will be addressed, and topics that are of similar nature and have even the slightest possibilities of turning up to the discussion. Think of the objections that are more likely to be brought up and not (spoken and unspoken), and the questions that are more and less likely to come up, and prepare as much as you can for each of them.
Remember that over preparing and having more than enough knowledge puts you in the driver position of any conversation or meeting. Also, you should speak less than you know. By over preparing means that you have loaded your armoury with tons of weapons and now you can choose which ones to use and when. Even if you don’t need to use all the information you have gathered, people who know more than they speak off tend to give off a certain vibe in the discussion, and others can pick up on that. By giving out short bursts of knowledge at the right time with the right tonality, the other party (or parties) in the encounter will look at you as the expert, or as someone who should be taken seriously whilst the discussion takes place.
So take notice! Don’t go to your next meeting prepared, but go in over prepared. Dedicate those extra few hours or days to really equip yourself with as much information and knowledge as possible. Doing so, getting the desirable outcome won’t simply be a matter of luck, it will be a matter of time !
I hope you have found this topic interesting and useful. What do you think about it? All feedback and comments are welcomed