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Effective Meetings - Tip 9

Be prepared. Lots of aspects to this, of course, but I find it helpful to focus on the following 2 activities:

  1. Research the attendees by checking out their profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Then, look at the wider picture: For example, if they are representing other companies, what are the big issues and opportunities those other companies are facing? This is particularly helpful during sales meetings: If you can show an awareness of your potential client’s motivations and issues beyond the immediate opportunity, you may be able to tailor your offering accordingly. At the very least, this shows awareness and professionalism.

  2. Looking at the agenda and information from real-time horizon-scanning, think about what you need to know for the meeting. What are the likely questions and ‘fast balls’? It will not be feasible to cover every possibility, but being ready for some of the probable issues that will be raised will enhance your credibility. If something comes up that you are not prepared for and are unsure of, don’t ‘wing it’: Best response is to get back to him/her/them after the meeting. When you say you will do this, it is very important to do so in a timely manner.

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