When you want to have a successful career in closing good business deals you need to prepare yourself for a very tough arena...
A very important asset will be for you to know very well how to prepare a business meeting. The first thing you should do is to search as many information as you can about your meeting parties.
Having the information, the first thing you should do is to propose the date for the meeting along with the place you suggest (as you can see, you will need a very good experience in places or at least a good database with restaurants, pubs); the date and the place must fit the taste of every party involved for the meeting.
Before the meeting
* make sure that all administrative tasks are assigned (travel tickets, hotel rooms, projectors, etc)
* find who are the players on the market
* find what's hot from the industry
* find a particular subject for each participants to leave a nice impression (e.g. "I heard that Giants made a great game last week")
The meeting request must contain
* the date and the location
* the starting time AND the ending time
* all parties involved
* very important: the meeting agenda (or meeting goals)
The meeting must be followed by a message to all participants; usually the follow-up is sent by the meeting initiator. The follow-up message:
* must be sent to all participants
* must be short and clear
* very important - must contain the conclusions and next steps
* the place must be a "low-noise" one
* if possible, pay a visit to the place before the meeting in case that you don't know the place (it will help you when you ask for reservations also)
* confirm the reservations on the meeting day
* make sure that the meeting will have refreshments (water, coffee, snacks, etc)
* try to set a reason for each participant to make a follow-up (e.g. "Do you know a good restaurant in San Francisco?"); everyone will be pleased to help ;)
* be sure that you dress appropriately and you have a day perfume (sometimes makes the difference)
Of course that we can talk for days but I wanted to share with you something from my experience. What else that can be shared made you successful in a meeting?