“Timid salesmen have skinny kids.”
In many industries, prospective buyers will request proposals from a few vendors, weed through those proposals, narrow down the possible vendors to a short list, and then have each of the short list vendors participate in an interview or a formal presentation to determine which company wins the contract. Keep in mind that these purchasers don’t always use the presentation as the determining factor in choosing their vendor, but it will at least be a factor in excluding vendors if nothing else. However, if you are a qualified vendor, you give the best presentation, and no other political factors are involved, you have a good shot at closing the contract.
The main thing to remember about these interviews is that the purchasers (usually a committee of some kind) will make the assumption that you are a qualified vendor simply because you have been invited to present and compete for the contract. The committees often have a team of people who weed through the thick proposals to exclude any companies that aren’t qualified. So unless you prove otherwise to them, they will almost always automatically assume that you are qualified.
In Chapter 1, I stated:
The confidence that a person shows when standing up to speak is often perceived by others to be competence ...