Preparation is key, so why do many businesses fail to prepare?
You only get one chance to make a good impression, go prepared or go home.
Preparation is key to making a good impression, there’s loads of stats out there about how long it takes for someone to form an impression of you, it’s seconds (quick google search will give you more stats than you need).
There is nothing worse than a meeting for meeting sake, it’s a waste of time if you both don’t know what you want to achieve from the meeting before sitting down.
Put yourself in the shoes of the person(s) you are meeting, why have they invited you in, do have you all the answers to their questions and do you know the solution to their problem?
If you don’t know what outcomes you want to achieve, you shouldn’t be walking into the room. If you are unclear, clarify beforehand and ask what they want to get out of the meeting.
Prepare your presentation around their needs. You might not have all the answers but preparing and investing the upfront time to again an understanding of the business/people you are meeting is a great start to success. Demonstrate you are passionate about working with them and positively outline what you can do for them – a generic presentation that is all about you wont cut it.
Don’t forget to practice and proof any presentation material, get your team to run through the presentation, a second pair of eye is always a good idea.
By now you probably have a killer presentation, you’re well prepared, on time, dressed to impress and ready to rock the room but don’t forget the finer detail. Flashback to a recent pitch we attended…if you’re a week early for your meeting, as one of our competitors was, what impression does that leave. Awkward as it was with us all in reception at the same time, we’re all human and these things do happen but a quick email / call before setting off would’ve saved the embarrassment of having to leave a drink in reception and come the following week.
Natalie says “Personally, I don’t go to a meeting without gathering as much information as I can about the business and person, mostly through their own website, social channels etc. I hate being unprepared, I’ve learnt a few lessons over the years and these days have more successes than fails.”