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Tips on getting the most from Business Meetings - Part 2

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by Startacus Admin

Tips on getting the most from Business Meetings - Part meeting

Last week we highlighted the first four tips of getting the most from business meetings. In this post we highlighted planning, reconfirming the meeting, knowing your goals for the meeting, and coming prepared as being the first four main points to consider.Another handy link is included here - in case you missed the first one!

The first four points actually are all things you need to really consider and do before the meeting itself. So working on the basis that you have in fact read part one and considered the points included, we move on to four more handy tips and this time focus on the meeting itself.

Remember the small detail

If this is a first introductory meeting - a handshake and introduction is almost always necessary to get the formalities out of the way. If you are attending the meeting, not hosting it, don’t just plonk yourself down on a chair until you have been offered one and try to make small talk initially so that you don’t throw yourself straight into a meeting agenda or sales pitch without the other party starting the ball rolling first. Perhaps if you have spoken previously on the phone or via email try to remember some more personal (not too personal) facts about the other person to keep conversation flowing - but do not try to over do this - no one likes awkward conversation after all.

Be concise and allow discussion

We all love talking about ourselves and our business - but remember you are there to either gain business or find out more about what another business can do for you. Hence whilst chit chat and general conversation is good for building rapport, know when enough is enough and you need to get onto the small matter of why you are there in the first place. Controlling the other party on this can be tough - but be focused on your purpose - why you’re there and try and politely get the meeting on track.

Ask open questions

Closed questions for example “Do you like your job?” often get answered with an immediate “yes, no, or depends” answer. An open question like “What is it that you dislike about your Job?” means you are more likely to gain information - valuable information.

Take that into your business profession and also reconsider the goals and targets (as discussed in part 1) you have outlined as being important for the meeting you have arranged. What type of open questions are likely to take you a step closer to find finding out that valuable information you need or will take your business forward.

Without being too cliche-ridden, If you don’t ask, you don’t learn (‘you don’t get’ being a little too presumptuous perhaps) and if every meeting, sales call or networking event that you go to - you consider how you will use open questions, you will continue to learn and gain understanding of your business and the business opportunities that exist.

Follow up

The cardinal sin of all sins (well maybe not quite - but hopefully the dramatic gesture makes the point). If you do not follow up on the meeting you are potentially missing out on building that all important business relationship. Following up simply means dropping a quick email, thanking them for their time and also confirming any action points that you agreed to do or follow up on. Imagine it for a second the other way around and you are the business. If you get a nice and appreciative email thanking you for your time, it demonstrates that the person valued your time and also that the person you are potentially going to do business with is professional, or at least giving the impression that they are anyway!

Well we hope these pointers on getting the most from Business Meetings help and feel free to give Startacus a call sometime (especially if you fancy investing a few quid our way too!!).

If you like this article you might also want to read Vincent Haywoods recent Diary of a Startup post Networking - Getting back out there.

If you like what you see here on Startacus, why not become a member of our growing community? It's free! And you'll get all this - exclusive access to our Business Toolkit, discounts and offers galore for your business via our member only business deals, the chance to network and connect with loads of fellow self-starters, and maybe even become our celebrated 'Self-Starter of the Week' and tell the world your startup tale! Join right here for free

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Published on: 13th July 2013

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