Achieving Excellent Meeting Outcomes

Step 1: The Importance of Preparation

For any organisation that faces customers or suppliers, whether it be in meetings, discussions or in making a presentation, it is important to make those meetings as successful as possible. Also, in today’s hectic world where time is precious, people have little time for a coffee and a chat. People want and need to have meetings, of course, but meetings with a purpose that add value to their day. To ensure that your meetings have that purpose it is important to ensure that the right steps are taken and undertaken by you or your team leading up to them. This is how you start to differentiate yourself from the visits and calls made by your competitors. You want to be welcoming and have your customers look forward to meeting you and your teams because it is a rewarding experience for them.

Note this too:

Poor Preparation Preceeds Poor Performance

As a start point you would be wise to be fully aware of these five ‘P’s above because, almost without fail, the inability or unwillingness to prepare well will cost you and your business a better outcome. To be frank, with the access to information made so easy these days, there is simply no excuse for poor preparation, and thereby the accumulation of pertinent customer knowledge before a meeting takes place. For example:

Websites ‐ providing you with a huge amount of information about your customer or supplier, and in many instances their team, which often will include your contact

Industry Reports ‐ illustrating market trends in a particular sector relevant to the customer or supplier

Companies House Information ‐ Whether full or part‐filed Accounts, they give you an indication of performance and profitability

LinkedIn Profiles ‐ holds information about Company individuals and their background

Social Media Activity ‐ lots of information about what’s going on from both a business and individual perspective

And there is plenty more ‐ if you look for it.

What Are Your Customer’s Specific Needs?

If you or your team can’t come up with a clear and defined answer to this simple yet challenging question, I can tell you that whatever market you are in, you are in for a very tough time.

Armed with this information, you are in much better shape to talk confidently about the customer’s business and market, and you’ll be seen as someone who has good and relevant knowledge about these areas. You will find that the customer reaction to this is hugely positive in that they see you have taken the time to find out more about THEM, their market and their particular challenges, and demonstrates that you are clearly interested in working with them. To reinforce the point, I met a major player in business earlier this week who bemoaned the fact that many of his team simply go straight to what they want to present or talk about, rather than doing any background work first as preparation. I don’t need to tell you that the results he is experiencing are less than impressive from the people who behave in this manner.

The individual who does little preparation, goes straight to the ‘pitch’ and knows little about the particular customer’s challenges can only talk about generic not specific solutions as a result. This is much less appealing when seen from the customer’s eyes than a solution that is specific to them and their needs.

Preparing for success is the first step in achieving what you want from your customers and suppliers ‐ fail to prepare and you prepare to fail!

Don’t miss this important step and make sure that your market‐facing people do it thoroughly.

Great preparation is only the start of a successful meeting process ‐ you can hear about Step 2 next month…

If you can’t wait until next month to find out more, contact us at:

07747 023610

David Turner

Managing Director