I work at a small agency and, as a result, am often asked to attend meetings that I have absolutely no clue about.
I am traveling with the account team to a client’s office to take part in a 2009 planning brainstorm. The goal of the meeting is topline thoughts for ’09, blah, blah, blah.
I have a few techniques that help me when I am in this situation…and I found a few more courtesy of The Denver Egoist.
They are a succinct capture of the tactics I plan to use today, particularly:
“Ask a lot of questions.
I’ve always maintained that stupid people pretend to know things, while smart ones ask questions. (Also related is the corollary, there are no stupid questions, just stupid people). But if you’re not comfortable asking “So what is it exactly you guys sell?” go with the subtler “Can you tell me more about your business, Jim?” You’ll seem both engaged and interested.”
It should be fun.
I hope that they bring in a good lunch.