Presenting To A Perspective Client
The role of the project manager before and during the project is understanding the client and what the client expects on their project. Every client wants to be treated as though their project is your most
important project has a challenging schedule, and that the integration of the end user intrigues the project’s success, and you are challenged to fulfill their expectations!
There are many elements that must be considered when interacting with a client at the start of a project, and the type of occupancy is a key element for consideration in the preparation for an
- Construction possibilities
- Use of knowledge of the project
- Logistics application
Each of these elements makes up the basis of good relations. Not everyone you meet will need your services, but the focus of attention to people, what they do and how they choose to communicate are stepping stones to future opportunities. Consider the possibilities, when one acquaintance does decide to expand their business and need to discuss procedures that best support their ideas, the right contract to use, the proper staffing and who makes up the planning and construction team.
Your first contact and continued interest in your prospective client may be the element in his equation that prompts your involvement. There are other invitations that can bring you to the table with a prospective client, and relationship building needs to begin then. But using the relationship scenario above, the four points would require your undivided attention.
Your Introduction needs to be informal, informative and knowledgeable. The pleasantries and greeting should be warm with an open dialogue between you, your team and the client party. Once settled, demonstrate that you are organized and begin your intro about your organization and what professional benefits your client would have in contracting with you.
Know what makes you (your company) different from your competition. Keep your remarks concise, right to the point, in statement form, being invited to make a presentation means that they already know something about you and will ask for more information when appropriate.
Your Presentation should be most impressive. Professional graphics, slide show, and select poster boards identifying your client’s issues through the careful marketing of your abilities suggest a bonding together with a common interest toward the successful completion of the project. Your team, as defined by the requested information sort after by the client group dictates who should be in attendance at the presentation.
In most cases, an introduction of the project team with captain/leader present and those who will work with him in developing a budget, from conceptual to contract acceptance. A superintendent that will review the site conditions and be prepared to address activities around the site during construction, Logistics Planning, also demonstrates that he has the knowledge to build the project with the least amount to disruption to the surrounding community while projecting sensitivity to the construction.
Additionally, a well-planned team presents a conceptual schedule that includes the purchase criteria, shop drawing submittal criteria and the succession of work by activity. Being animated throughout this presentation sends a message of team confidence, very positive and looks for by a client as an enhancement to their project.
Construction Possibilities is the manner by which you approach the construction, includes careful planning of construction procedures, details and sequence of work. Be sure to include a well-planned talk on this topic, impressing the client that your constant review of the schematic to design development drawings will provide insight to construction means and methods that will keep the project on budget. That the integration with the architect and engineers will also provide for common discussion of design to construction applications that will reinforce the project’s success and minimize conflict in constructability.
Understanding the clients needs and the use of the project and being able to draw on relevant experiences that make your group the right group to join the construction team will become clear through the research of the clients present structure, existing operation or purpose of use of the construction. To gain a Use of Knowledge of the Project present yourself well informed.
Use of knowledge of the project
Your group should take substantial time in preparing for the presentation, meeting and discussing the plans and design concepts your client will be paying for to achieve. Prepare live dialogues and present them orally. Focus, not on yourselves, but on the project and how you best understand it. Correlate and orchestrate your talk around your familiarity of the project.
Closing remarks should stress the commitment you are making of yourself & your company in providing all the necessary resources to keep the project on track, on budget and keynote to your team.
In any case our focus should be on you, the new project manager. Generally the new employee is not made a part of the presenting team, but fortune may have it that one is included on the presentation team to gain experience and observe what others are saying and doing to impress the perspective client.
What can you do to be a desirable presenter for your company? Most importantly, know the culture of your company, memorize the mission statement (philosophy), and be informative about its history. In an earlier publication I stressed the need to project yourself as honest, and interested in your client and their project. So now I tell you to use your company, and these facts, that you so amply adopted, to enhance your approach to a client.
A client (or perspective client) is interested in you as a person, a member of the proposed team and as a source of knowledge, an able body capable of contributing to project. They look to the team to tell them about their company, its origin, success stories and success projects of relevant experience. And as you present your piece, they are evaluating you as a person who may represent them on their project. They will look to your poise, expressions, the total body language thing and your content.
The content must extend beyond the introduction of the company and address the nature of the project, the preparation of a project budget and it’s maintenance and reporting tools used in tracking the project to the agreement period. Looking at the raw data available, and building on that data as the development drawings progress, create the stage for improved budgeting, value engineering and recommendations on how to best build components of the project.
Accepting the information of the budget and drawings as best available, the development of the construction schedule and what you show the client, with your early knowledge of how to build their project, becomes evident. Your schedule will expand in detail and relate actual production as the budget develops and becomes more accurate. Trade input used to support or correct assumptions made on an earlier budget will improve the man-hours assumptions used in developing the resource scheduling that was used in the early construction schedule, now displaying a more accurate schedule.
The tools of project management are always of interest to a client. They show the organization and administration skills that are vital to keeping a project on track. They look for the standardization within a company to assure them of continuity in the event of an unanticipated change, and they listen to how you present their use within the project and how well you understand what your presenting! They will look at the format of your logs, meeting minutes and close-out paperwork.
Some may request information of the type of contract form you use with your subcontractors, also, the manner in how you go about selecting subcontractors and how you record your correspondence with them. You will need to be prepared to discuss the logistics of the project, your approach to construction and the management of activities around and on the construction site.
The last and a very important focus will be on how you integrate with the other team members in presenting this information. How you interact and feed off each others knowledge of this project and they will be mindful of how your respect each others time during the presentation.
The key element not yet spoken of, is your ability to prepare or participate in a presentation, making mention of all of the above fine presentation points, that lasts 45 minutes, with a 15 minute Q & A that follows.
What you need to learn is to be sincere to your client, speak to them about their project and don’t waste valuable presentation time talking about yourself, as a company or an individual.