As a consultant working with large and small clients, it’s easy to get complacent. Especially if you’re getting ready for a meeting with one of your smaller clients. BUT, you need to make your experience and efficiency work for your small clients just like you would with your corporate bigwigs.
- Set an agenda and email it to all participants
- Email all slides or materials an hour ahead of time
- Save them time by finishing the meeting early
- No surprises, just results
Meetings are the bane of all of our workdays. Make sure you’re respecting the little meetings too. Get them down to the bare necessity and give your attendees some of their day back. That was the greatest thing a meeting leader could say, “Well, we’re done, and if there are no more questions, you can have the last 15 minutes back.”
Don’t think that just because you are working with a team of three or two that their time is not just as important. Save them time, pre-wire all questions, and respond after the meeting with a well-documented I OWE, YOU OWE report.
By doing meetings right, and delivering on your promises, you can go a long way towards simplifying your work life and the consultant engagement life of your clients. If we make it really easy, they will continue to love us, and that’s the goal. Deliver results, be easy to work with, continue the profitable relationship.
Finally, best practices for your quick agenda
- What is the GOAL of the meeting? State it in the agenda if it’s not clear.
- All agenda items have the time associated with them – then stick to them.
- Outstanding issues or questions go last.
- Let the agenda drive the meeting, allow “the client” to move on to the next items when they are satisfied.
Use the agenda to follow-up after the meeting with notes, showing action items, who owns what, and what the dates requested for delivery are.
Any outstanding questions should be answered in the follow-up email, or captured for resolution in the next meeting. Assign an owner for all deliverables or outstanding questions.
Easy, right? Well, do it every single time. Great reputations are hard to build, but almost impossible to rebuild.
image: first daytime company meeting, creative commons usage