This is the first in a series of four posts that focus on positive, powerful and productive preposition phrases.
Whether it’s an interview, sales call, presentation, networking or business meeting, there are five “ups” that can make or break its success.
Set Up – Prepare thoroughly for every business meeting. If it’s an interview, research the organization and the interviewer(s), prepare insightful and thoughtful answers to interviewer questions as well as interesting and informative questions for the interviewer. If it’s a sales call or presentation, send an agenda in advance and have your material in a personalized folder for your client/customer and your technology stress tested. If it’s a networking or business meeting, have a confirmed, time, date, location and agenda. The extra time and effort you put into preparation will ensure the success of the business meeting.
Dress Up – Wear the clothes that make you feel the most positive and powerful, creative and confident. Even with relaxed dress codes in the summer months, what you wear speaks volumes about you. It makes a strong first impression and indicates your level of commitment to excellence, to the interviewer/organization, your client/customer or contact and to the success of the business meeting.
Show Up – Leave your personal baggage at home, at the office or in the car so you can be present and professional for the meeting. If you have never been to the location of the meeting, plan to go ahead of time so you can figure out the exact location and how much time you will need you to get there. This will save you considerable time and stress on the day of the appointment. Always arrive early so you can familiarize yourself with the location and make any last-minute preparations. Lateness is not an option for a successful business meeting.
Keep Up – Make it all about them – the interviewer, the client/customer or the contact. regardless of the type of business meeting, it’s important to match your tone, pace and presentation style to the person sitting in front of you. Pay attention if you are speaking too slowly or quickly or covering too much or too little information for your audience. Get feedback by asking questions as to the level of interest and understanding of the information you are sharing with them. Your connection and commitment to your audience will contribute to the success of the business meeting.
Finish Up – Thank the interviewer, client/customer or contact for taking the time to attend the meeting. Decide on next steps and actions that need to be taken by you and by them. Write and deliver a handwritten thank you note within 24 hours of the meeting. While an e-mail thank you note is quick and convenient, a hand written thank you note is memorable and much more appreciated. Follow up with a detailed summary of the meeting so that you can both share in the success of the business meeting.