Your eyes are glazed over. You’re trying to be discreet but you can’t help looking at your watch. Is it over yet? As meeting standards go this one is pretty brutal. It’s dull, boring, lacking insights, not informative, it’s basically a disastrous waste of your time. Have you ever encountered one of these meetings? Here’s a daring question – have you ever been the one driving one of these meetings? If your answer is “no way, I’d never run such a terrible meeting”, I’d say you should probably spend a bit of time on self-reflection. We all have coordinated and run meetings like this. We’ve all wasted someones time at one point or another.
Here are 4 Ways to Make Your Business Conversations More Effective:
- Prepare – Do some homework on the individual you’re meeting with and the company. It’s not enough to just throw out facts about the company or industry. With the advent of social selling you’ve got to know your buyer – the human behind the decision.
- Ask good questions – Dump the “what keeps you up at night” question. So boring. So predictable. Kind of shallow. A rookie question. Have a hypothesis of what you believe keeps them up and night and throw it on the table. Of course that requires having completed Step 1 above.
- Know what’s going on in the world – Don’t take a political stance, but know what’s happening in the world, the markets, etc. Election year impacts, the Brexit issue, the Middle East conflicts, the Puerto Rican debt default. People enjoy spending time with people who have a bit of depth. You don’t need to be Alan Greenspan, Warren Buffet, or Seth Godin, but you do need to have ideas and opinions beyond your company’s.
- Manage your time – Arrive early. If you’re on time you’re late. I get tired of hearing how bad traffic was. Sales people today, especially in bigger cities think they can use traffic in Seattle, LA, NY, Boston, Atlanta, etc., as an excuse and people will just understand. If you want to be like every other sales person walking in the office than great. You will be – just like every other. You want to be different? Give yourself extra time.
One final extra tip. Please show up with some energy. No, you don’t have to drink 17 Red Bulls before you walk in the door. Likewise you don’t want to be Eeyore either. Find the balance between excitement and control. Do all of these together and you’ll run an awesome meeting.