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The Value of Preparation

Boy Scouts: Be Prepared Famous Alliteration: Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance Yes, yes, we’ve all heard it before. Maybe the reason hearing this refrain can get to be annoying is because it’s true. I will never be a lawyer, nor will I ever play one on TV (the whole history of ‘playing one on TV’ is the subject for another blog), but I can say one thing I’ve heard from those I know who are lawyers is they teach you in law school to never ask a question to which you don’t know the answer. How does this apply to business? Well, while you may not know the exact answer to the question you ask a client or prospective client, you should know the right questions to ask and this comes from preparation. In the dark, primitive time known as the 20thcentury, all we had were reference books and in the advertising business, ad copy, to learn about a company. How barbaric. Like Dr. McCoy on “Star Trek” being horrified that at one time doctors cut into their patients. But the Internet and the Google machine changed it all. These days if you have a meeting with a prospect and haven’t done at least some cursory prep you almost don’t deserve their business. A wise mentor of mine once said, “It’s OK to not have all the answers as long as you know what questions to ask.” Therein lies the value of preparation. The trick is to be so prepared that you look casual, relaxed and conversational. This is how Perry Mason won so many cases on TV. For more on that, stay tuned for the next blog.

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