21 Oct

Posted by ELAINE TYLER

At meetings be the treat, not the trick!

Office General

Before I start this article, I want to make one thing clear. I didn’t go trick or treating this year. I actually put on a secret enchanted forest party in Shoreditch for 100 of my friends as I love planning events in my spare time! However, I love Halloween, so I wanted to weave a bit of a trick or treat thread into my article this week!

Meetings with potential clients. What do you do before you go to one? Are you meticulous in your preparation, or do you just turn up and wing it? Maybe you like to prepare, but preparation for you is rehearsing your pitch and arriving early to psyche yourself up, that sort of thing. It’s great to prepare yourself, but it’s even more effective to prepare your client as well.

In this article, I’m going to talk about three things you can do to get your client ready for your meeting, so you can get what you want and avoid any nasty surprises.

1 – Engage with all decision-makers

Before you go into a meeting with a potential client, make sure you know exactly who is going to be in the room with you. Then, find out everything you can about those people. Is every individual that makes the decision on whether to buy from you going to be there? If not, who is missing? Get them added to the attendee's list. Don’t rely on your champion or your primary contact at the client, or you may not get all the people you need in the room.

Next, engage directly with every decision-maker who will be there. Contact them and introduce yourself if they do not know who you are. Explain how much you are looking forward to meeting them and that you are there to answer any questions they may have.

2 – Share your agenda

Share your agenda with every attendee ahead of your meeting. Ideally, you do this as early as possible. When you do this, all parties know what to expect at the meeting. They can suggest things that they would like to cover which you may have missed.

This approach also gets your prospect thinking about you and helps them clarify their thoughts about what they want to achieve from the meeting. Before you shared the agenda, they may not have given it much thought. Now, they will.

3 – Call for commitment

Follow up on everything you have done so far with a call to your primary contact just before the meeting. On this call, get them to tell you what they want to get out of the session.

Again, this helps them crystallise their thoughts, but it also gives you an opportunity to make sure you deliver on what they want. It will also give you the chance to think about how you might address any issues that arise.

Stand out from your competition
When you follow these steps, you can make sure your meeting satisfies both parties; you and your prospect. It also gives you an element of control over the meeting that you might not otherwise have.

It also helps you stand out from your competitors. So many people do not prepare for meetings in this way. When you contact your prospect and show them how seriously you take their business, they will be impressed.

Over to you

What do you do before a meeting to make sure you get what you want? How do you make sure you’re the treat rather than the trick?