Recently I had the opportunity to put together a "sales pitch" presentation to inform a potential customer about a latest and greatest widget. The audience included a vice president, a manager, some end users and a finance analyst. Since this presentation could potentially bring in a sizable amount of work for our team, I was nervous from the start.
Throughout the briefing, there were a healthy amount of discussions going back and forth between our team and our potential customer. Momentum was high after I concluded a few live demonstrations.
However, toward the end of the presentation, the infamous question came up, "How much is this going to cost?" My manager was the intended receiver of the question. There were some initial unintelligible hums followed by a long pause.
Then I interjected and started to describe a comparably scoped project that we'd done and how much resourcing it took to complete. I pointed out the similarities and proceeded to work with the audience in flushing out a detailed project scope. We concluded the briefing with a favorable impression and an agreement to continue our engagement.
As we traveled back to our office, I realized in answering for my manager that I'd decided to act on the notion that it's easier to ask forgiveness than to request permission. I am curious to know what my fellow project managers thing of this idea ...
In my case, my manger made a comment later that he would need to add "Pitch Man" to my current title. To my relief, he was smiling.