How to Hold the Right Meeting - Part 3 - Less Meeting

Posted by | September 13, 2011 | Meeting Tips | No Comments
Alright – time to wrap things up.  In the third and final post of this series, we’ll look at Review Meetings and Sales Meetings.  

Visit Part 1 to learn about Status and Decision Making meetings, and Part 2 to brush up on Planning and Operational Meetings.

Type 5 – Review/Evaluation Meetings:

Example meeting types – Common types of meetings that fall into this category include: Project Quality Review, Personnel performance evaluation
When to have them:
These meetings typically occur when a more senior resource or external resource is reviewing the performance of an individual, a project, or a team.   If you are a manager you should have a formal performance review meeting with each or your team members individually every 6 months.
Inputs & Outputs:
  • The reviewer should be prepared for the meeting by reviewing all data points, metrics, and formal/informal feedback for the review.
  • Ideally, prior to the meeting, the reviewee should provide the reviewer with a list of their accomplishments and goals.
  • At the end of every meeting there should be a formal documentation by the reviewer of the discussion points.  Recommended points include:
  • Areas of high or differentiated performance
  • Areas requiring additional skill or personnel development
  • Goals and the commitments that the reviewer and reviewee are going to make to achieve those goals.
Key Roles:
  • Reviewer – The reviewer should be a manager or trusted guide to the reviewee.
  • Reviewee – The reviewee must be open to listening and understanding feedback and how they can use it to improve or grow.
Common Pitfalls:
  • Not having these meetings at all.
  • Not preparing properly.
  • Having these meetings just to have them.  Review meetings without proper preparation are a waste of time; do not have these meetings if you are not prepared to discuss feedback.
Key Suggestions:
  • Keep a history of things that people have done well and need to improve on. Have a flag type or tag that you use for your email to note these items, this will help you when compiling feedback at the end of the year.
  • Be as constructive as possible.   Non-constructive feedback is detrimental to the relationship between the reviewer and reviewee
  • Listen and ask questions.  As a reviewer, using the Socratic method of asking questions helps people to better formulate ideas in their heads.  In addition, listen to responses helps you better gauge how the reviewee is feeling.
Type 6 – Sales/Business Development Meetings:
Example meeting types – Common types of meetings that fall into this category include:  Introduction meeting, Product overview, Product Demo, Pitch Session, Contract Discussion
When to have them:
Sales or business development meetings typically occur when you are selling something to someone or buying something from someone.
Inputs & Outputs:
  • Inputs typically include product information and information on why the buyer is interested in the product.
  • At the end of a sales/business development meeting there can be a number of outcomes, the most common are:
  • The buyer has no interest in the product or server and the discussions should not continue.
  • The buyer doesn’t need to the product right now, but may need the product at a future point in time.
  • The buyer has some interest and needs additional information or needs the seller to do some additional work, prior to further sales discussions.
  • The buyer and the seller agree on terms and how to move forward with an agreement.
Key Roles:
  • Seller – The seller is the person who is offering the server or product that the buyer would be interested in purchasing.  The seller should be responsible for facilitating the meeting and accommodating to the buyers schedule when possible.  The seller should also be responsible for taking notes and following up as soon as possible with the outcome of the meeting.
  • Buyer – The buyer should be prepared for the meeting by understanding what their needs are, in addition they should have an ideal target for that they would be will to pay for the services/product.
Common Pitfalls:
  • Not Qualifying the Meeting.  The seller should be responsible for ensuring that the buyer is (or would be) interested in the product.  If there is no interest or purchase intent, then the meeting is not a sales meeting, it is just an informational meeting.
Key Suggestions:
  • Sellers should understand the buyer’s needs.  A seller should never show up to a meeting without having done research to understand the buyers business, goals, and reason for purchase interest.
  • There are a larger number of books out there on negotiating and selling.  Whether you are a buyer or a seller,  I recommend you spend some time reading through the sales classics:

 Summary: 

As you are planning and running your meetings, if you and all of your participants understand the type of meeting and its objective, it will help you avoid the common pitfalls for each of these types of meeting.
 
In summary, to avoid having the wrong meeting, I recommend you run through this quick checklist before sending out the invite:
1.      Understand the objective of meeting (this will help you identify the meeting type)
2.      Make sure you have the right inputs for the meeting (materials, agenda)
3.      Verify that the attendees understand their role in the meeting.
4.      Make sure that your meeting is focused on the right outputs: deliverables, knowledge, action items, and decisions.