RESET: Meeting Preparation that Creates Energy and MomentumJuly 21, 2015 | By Wayne O'Neill
Are you tired of having “great meetings” that end up going nowhere? You know, the type where all the participants are smiling, talking about work you’ve done together in the past, exchanging information about new features and technical specs.
These meetings create and illusion of success because everybody feels good walking out. But do they really lead to anything fruitful?
Having meetings that create true energy and momentum for your firm’s growth backs all the way up to effective meeting preparation. So what does that mean? How can you improve your meeting preparation skills?
We invite you to watch this month’s video to learn more:
So the DNA results are in and your ineffective preparation for meeting with clients is the problem.
But look, let me get you off the hook because over the last 10 years of our practice, there’s an endearing aha moment that every single one of our clients goes through. And that’s that moment when they realize that their preparation that they’ve been doing up until now before they work with us may not be as effective and create the results and the speed and the account vitality that they’re really looking for.
It’s really this simple and, if you notice from our previous videos, we’re not an either/or or that we have a better way. This is an either/and type of concept. So here’s kind of what we see in meetings, and of course, nobody that we work with is not prepared for a client meeting. That is that when we ride along with them and they’re meeting with their clients to try to up the speed or up the vitality of that account. But here’s the things that we see.
There’s a kind of chatter that goes on about what’s the relationship’s been up until now. Past golf games, sporting events, or other things that have gone on– not wrong. There’s about what’s going on with a current buying activity. What services or products are being ordered, and that’s good. There’s a lot of technical chatter. What’s going on with their products? What’s going on with your products? What’s going on with the services? And then there’s this thing that every kind of company wants to bring. What’s the new shiny object? We’ve opened up a new office, or did you know that we had this kind of capability, or did you know that we’ve added this kind of technical competency to what we’re doing again either in a product or service? And none of that’s wrong. But it kind of leaves you at the end of the meeting of, OK, so see you next month and we’re going to talk again.
So let me just kind of make you think about something. Here’s what we coach and here’s what you can add to what you normally do. Ask different questions around client intelligence. Ask what’s kind of going on the marketplace. Because your clients are thinking about that anyway, so here’s a sample of what you want to ask and how you want to have that end up. What are verticals that your clients are looking to enter or that they’re struggling maybe to expand their presence? What type of clients– what specific clients might they be lusting to start an account relationship with? Again, they’re not going to have all the answers, but the fact that you’re asking that changes the discussion.
And then last, talk about– it’s amazing every time we go into a new geography, when we bring up as the people that don’t know as much maybe about what’s going on in that territory. When we say, well, what about this certain corporation or what’s going on with this public private development? Or what is this new information technology infrastructure project about? It starts a discussion, and if we bring it up with our clients’ client, it always kind of spurs, well, yeah, we would really be interested in getting involved in that.
And the aha moment that we see as endearing is we see time after time, this may be somebody that you’ve been spending the last two or three years with. But all of a sudden you’re going, I didn’t know that. Oh, I didn’t know they were interested in that. It’s just a human being behavior.
So the punchline to all of this is what you want is energetic next steps. You don’t just want to have what I call “milk run discussion.” Well, I’ll see you in the next 30 to 45 days. You want somebody to be in a position of let’s talk a couple of times before you come down again.
And the last thing you want to be thinking is whatever you’ve talked about technically– that product or service– having that client– your client that you’re meeting with– connect that to a bigger solution. How are you going to help them grow their business? How are you going to help them grow the vitality of their accounts? It’s just another way that we show that, again, the basic steps of what most people do in preparation is good. But if you have this other layer of talking about connection-type preparation, it can make your meetings a lot more effective and get results quicker.
Thanks for listening and be safe.