:: How to Prepare for Meetings ::
In the course of my work I have come across many
Meetings that take too long; they were usually not productive, and the
Participants were not clear about the objective of the meeting, or the
Outcome of the meeting. I think meetings should be concise and to-the-point
(Unless it is a creative brainstorming session, of course).
I think having an outcome-based approach to a meeting is an effective method
In ensuring a productive meeting. For example, if the meeting is to seek inputs
To a particular output: it could be for a proposal, a quotation or a presentation,
The person who initiated the meeting should at least prepare a skeleton of the
Material to be submitted for the customer or for approval by internal management.
There should be a thought-process in place. The creator must think of potential
Queries and questions (especially ones) from the various stakeholders during the
Meeting, and then prepare to have answers for such questions. The worst meetings
Are meetings where the participants attend the session as if it is a tea-session, and
Do not prepare for it. Precious time is wasted for everyone.
Going deeper, a sales person must always prepare a sales sheet, and understand the
P&L of the project. He or she must know the internal costs, the external costs as well as
The pricing strategy for the project. The sales person must always challenge the presales
So as to get the most robust quotation or pricing plan. If “hardware” is $50,000, he or she
Must ask, “what does this $50,000 entail?” By dissecting or “slicing” every component to
The smallest and indivisible form, can then the salesperson be able to formulate the most
For the presales, on the other hand, he or she must be able to propose a comprehensive
Solution that will meet the needs of the customer, bearing in mind the expenses that may
Be incurred by his organization. He or she must work closely with the salesperson so as to
Understand the client’s concept – the presales must be innovative enough to look for
Creative ways to solve the client’s problem at the lowest cost possible, without hurting
The margins of his or her organization of course.
And the end of a meeting, the salient points must always be generated to capture the
Important points discussed so that it becomes a useful reference for all. However, this is
Usually not done, and hence miscommunication may prevail.
Ultimately, all participants of a meeting must have a total understanding of the meeting, and
Not be afraid to ask or to clarify during the session. If one does not have the courage to seek
Clarification, further miscommunication may occur, and this may result in mis-quotation, and
Lead to a lot of unnecessary time and costs for the organization.