Meetings are a part of almost every work setting. In fact, millions of meetings take place each day in the United States alone. Unfortunately, many people put little thought or effort into planning their company or client meetings. They “wing it,” so to speak, which often results in misunderstandings and wasted time. It’s estimated that unproductive meetings account for a loss of billions of dollars annually, which is a lot of money that could otherwise be spent on improving operations.
Running productive client meetings requires planning and effort, which is why we’ve developed the tips below. Use them as a guide, and you’ll be able to run consistently smooth and successful client meetings.
1. Limit Distractions
Distractions can derail a meeting and take up precious time. Your client’s time is valuable, so be sure to hold your meetings at a location with few distractions or interruptions. Local serviced offices are a great option as they provide a professional setting with all the equipment and amenities you need for a distraction-free meeting.
2. Define the Purpose of the Meeting Right Away
To ensure everyone is on the same page, state the purpose of the meeting before you get started. This may seem unnecessary, but you’ll be surprised at how much more efficient and on-point the meeting will be when you do.
The last thing you want your clients to do is to leave the meeting with no idea what the purpose was or whether it was worth their time. Defining the reason for the meeting up-front gives everyone a topic to focus on and helps limit tangents that can distract from the goals you’re aiming to achieve together.
3. Create a Written Agenda
In addition to stating the purpose of the meeting, create a written agenda that you can distribute to all the attendees. This will ensure you cover everything you want to talk about and that you don’t forget anything. It will also help your clients follow along and make it easier for everyone to collaborate.
4. Do Your Homework
There’s nothing worse than going into a meeting with a client and not having a full understanding of that client’s needs or how your company can help them. If it’s your first meeting with the client, do some research ahead of time to learn all about their business and what their mission is. The client will be impressed with your knowledge, which will help build a strong, trusting relationship.
If it’s a follow-up meeting with this client, go over the notes from your last meeting to be sure you’ve addressed all their questions and completed any tasks they’ve asked for between meetings.
5. Stop Talking, Listen, and Leave Time for Questions
You may be running the meeting, but not giving your clients a chance to contribute to the conversation or to ask questions could mean you miss pertinent information or miss the mark when addressing their needs.
If you don’t want to answer questions during your presentation, let everyone know this at the start. Then, jot down any points that may be raised throughout your presentation, and leave time for a question-and-answer period in the end. Be sure to answer the questions you jotted down so your client knows you’re paying attention.
Running a successful client meeting isn’t hard. You just need to put time and effort into planning your meeting to ensure you make a good impression and address the key points. With these helpful tips, plenty of premium coffee, and some high-quality snacks, your next client meeting will be the most successful yet.