Presidential Prompt Card


Here's a link from the employer of a canny photographer in what looks like the Downing Street Rose Garden this Monday.

The notelet is in the palm of visiting American President, Joe Biden.

I realise that many observers would dismiss this image. On account of feeling that the gentleman concerned is now possessed of mental acuity such diminished through ageing, to the extent he ought be no longer eligible for such high office.

But this would miss the point.

For it is lamentably the case that far too many solution salespeople do not go into any encounter with any such forethought let alone tool at hand.

We cannot wing everything.

Preparation is not a dirty word.

Early in my career I thought it was the wealth of experience that enabled a salesperson to attend a meeting either without any writing material at all, or simply open their daybook to the latest blank page and chat away.

How wrong can you be.

I was swiftly in the habit of having a list of prompts pre-written at the foot of the next blank page. And given the steer that prospects can read upside down, my coded plans were ready and waiting as our meeting began.

These were for un-agenda'd one-on-ones. My cipher often included reminders as to my pursued sales process at that time. As well as triggers such as twin references, key questions or even mini organograms.

Where attending such a type of informal get-together (the exchange above apparently lasted 42 minutes, so not dissimilar to one optimal ideal video call length) it is perfectly acceptable to have your own notes. And even at times let them be seen.

Manifestations can vary.

I tell people all the time for instance, that to have flashcards when presenting a deck is completely fine.

An informal agenda thought through ahead of time can also be a crucial aide memoire once any lava flow of the meeting takes hold.

Then there's the video call plan.

Wherever possible I always strive to place a large-lettered list of what's potentially on the menu for a call I make in my eyeline. It can prove invaluable.

Go beyond this. Ever seen an old-school telesales person's computer screen? Often with an array of sticky notes of varying fluoros all around the fame. Have such prompts and others in view too.

We may not have headings as weighty as Nato, Atlantic Declaration or AI, but ones no less important in our own little domain to progress your key debates for sure.

If POTUS does, then so can we.

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