Thursday, August 28, 2008

Plan your business meeting

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

Other recommendations
* 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?

1 comment:

Radu said...

It really is a loooong story :-)

It all depends on the objective that you have for the meeting: are you selling? are you buying? are you meeting a person upper from your positin? lower?

If you sell (I would assume that this is the main concern - when you buy you can afford to make mistakes :-) ) you should google for 5 minutes the person. Prepare some subject that he/she seems to be interested in. Ask about kids if appropriate... Football, baseball if man; theatre, movies if lady. Have some stories about you prepared - funny, short...

Don't get angry before an important meeting.... it shows even if you try to hide it. Watch your preffered movie, listen the nicest music, forget the fight with your boss/wife/husband.

Make sure you are not late!!! Trafic jam is a lousy excuse...

just from the "soft" part :-)