News in Central London & The City Region
Making The Most Of Every Business Meeting
Fri 30 September 2011
Business meetings vary in size, scale and purpose. It may be that you’ve been working hard to secure a meeting with a potential new client or that you’re meeting someone you met at a conference for a more relaxed catch up.
By the nature that they can be so varied, the levels of stress and anxiety are varied too. Important meetings which could mean a big break for you or your business are likely to cause you more stress than the more relaxed catch up.
However, regardless of the ‘scope’ of the meeting – here are some tips to ensure that whatever the purpose or scale, you are prepared:
Before the business meeting
· Know your audience. Be sure to have done some background research on the person you are meeting. LinkedIn is a great resource for finding out about business people. I use it all the time to both research, connect and keep in touch.
· Dress for confidence. When you look great, you feel great. Be sure you’re looking your best. Wear something you know works for you.
· Prepare your pitch. If you’re pitching or have something you want to share – then ensure that all the materials you need are in place and that you are well rehearsed in delivery. Know your numbers etc. Preparation will just aid your confidence.
At the business meeting
· Make the first move. Be confident to introduce yourself to others rather than stand on the outskirts of a busy room. Introducing yourself and starting a conversation makes you appear in control and confident .
· Be open and friendly. Smile when you shake hands. A simple gesture that really does cement a great starting point.
· Ask question. People will generally talk about themselves if you ask them the right questions – so be sure to ask leading questions about them. What do you think, what do you know about etc – rather than launching into a sales pitch. Set up the conversation so that you’ve got them talking first.
· Deliverables. Make sure your meeting counts. Write down things you discuss and actions that you are going to do – and then recap the ‘actions’ at the end of the meeting. That way, you’ve both ‘agreed’ a way to proceed.
Post the meeting
· Connect. Send an email to say thanks and how you enjoyed the meeting. Repeat the deliverables and timescales so that they have a clear idea of when you’re going to be getting back in touch.
· Connect online. Suggest that you both connect on LinkedIn – that way, even if people move on from the company – you still stay in touch. Plus you get to keep up to date with their news.
Hope you find these simple tips useful. Plus why not check out my other blog post as to how I am using Linked In to connect and stay in touch.