6 ways to prepare for your next business meeting
Whether it’s an internal meeting, or a catch up with a potential new client, meetings can always be a little daunting. However, with the right preparation they can be a great way to discuss and motivate, ensuring that all parties are on the same page. Preparation can make or break a meeting, and the more work you do before you walk into the room, the more productive and efficient you’ll be.
Here are 6 ways to prepare for that all important business meeting:
It doesn’t take long for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. It can take a quick glance for someone to form an opinion on you. There are many ways to make sure that you make a great impression from the first handshake, such as dressing for the part with a stylish and smart outfit or fixing your face with a tidy beard or appropriate make up. A friendly face can also go a long way, and good dental hygiene is paramount. There are dentist practices such as The Old Spire that offer cosmetic treatments to give you the best smile.
If you’re meeting a potential new client, make sure to research the company and gain a clear understanding about what it is they do – they will most definitely respect you for taking the time out to look further into their business. Give yourself around an hour or more to do your research. This will give you time to think about what you need to do and say.
Before heading into any meeting, you should always have an objective, and ask yourself what the purpose of the meeting is. Make a few notes and consider the following – what are the key topics you want to discuss? What would be the ideal outcome from this meeting? If you know what you want from the meeting, you’ll be more productive and have a better chance of getting it.
Have an agenda
Creating and distributing an agenda before a meeting can have a number of benefits. An agenda gives the meeting a sense of direction which helps the meeting be as productive as possible. Meetings without a firm direction may go off topic and lead to a few tangible results. Creating an agenda for a business enables all participants to give feedback about the direction of the meeting and provide next steps moving forward. Once you’re in the meeting, put that agenda up on a screen or whiteboard for others to see – this will help keep people focused.
Everyone has busy schedules and things can easily get forgotten or double-booked. Sending a confirmation email to politely remind the person not only helps make your schedule more predictable, but also adds a touch of professionalism to your interactions with clients and prospects. We would suggest sending your confirmation email around midday, the day before your meeting. The email should be short and sweet, friendly yet informative highlighting important information.
Prep your team
First of all, consider who is invited. When people feel that what’s being discussed isn’t relevant to them, they’ll view their attendance at the meeting as a waste of time. Once this has been decided, It’s important to make sure that anyone in your team who is involved in the meeting understands its purpose before they enter the room. By doing this, you’re able to give your team the confidence to participate and confidently join discussions. This will not only make the meeting more productive, it shows that you and your team know exactly what you’re doing and talking about.