This sounds a little CIA, but the really, really impressive Power Players always have a decent chunk of background on the person they’re meeting for the first time.
Power Players get that it’s smart to know who’s sitting across the table. I recently went to a meeting with a Power Player who (I think) is pretty scary.
His assistant took me into his big fancy office and as I stood there waiting, he walked in and said ‘latte, half a sugar – right’? How he found out, to this day, I’ll never know.
He then went on to recite parts of a speech I once gave at a breakfast many years ago. He made me feel like I was the only person in the world.
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That’s exactly what background information does. It makes the Power Player charm and in the process, disarm. Know your audience just a little bit better than everybody else. It’s the best preparation you’ll ever do.