To many, the term “business meeting” often elicits groans and cringing. More forward-thinkers understand the importance of collaborative interaction and know-how to create a spark in meetings that makes them beneficial. Salespeople especially have much to gain when these highly personal interactions involve prospective clients.
There are several keys to making good impressions in business meetings, making them more engaging and leaving people nodding and bright-eyed, not bored and disconnected.
The first two are super basic and likely standard for you anyway but do bear repeating. Be on time…everybody is busy and wasting the time of others is a sure way to start a meeting badly. Feel that searing glare? If you’re on time, you won’t have to.
Second, dress accordingly. There’s a theory about going to job interviews: dress one step above the position being sought. That same approach applies when mastering the meeting.
Preparation and research can be more involved. From a TED-Talk kind of format to a PowerPoint presentation, it pays to put in the homework when all eyes are on you. Anticipate questions about new initiatives, campaigns, and projects. Have some of your own. The more knowledge and materials you have at your disposal can make a crucial difference.
Meetings don’t always have to be 100% formal, either. Quite the contrary. Some small talk before the agenda begins can put group members at ease…and more openly receptive to your message. Don’t tune out and start checking e-mail, don’t chew gum, and TURN OFF your phone!
These tips also apply for those wanting to make a strong impression from the bullpen. Relevant contributions deserve a voice, so long as ideas are presented succinctly and clearly, staying on topic and making a point. Shyness can keep great ideas hidden and that helps nobody in the long run. Speak up and make a positive impression. And be sure to have your solid Acrylic Name Plate Holder in front of you…so everyone knows your name!