A streamlined meeting is always more efficient at relaying messages and maximizing productivity. Sometimes, it can be difficult to reign in a meeting that has gone haywire; with side-conversations, arguments, or simply too much outside interference preventing the attendees from reaching the goal of the meeting. Here are some tips on how to streamline your client meetings for maximum productivity.
Have an Agenda to Streamline Client Meetings
Anytime you plan something out, it will likely flow better than an unplanned event. This goes for conference calls as well. An unplanned call will often spiral into side-conversations about last night’s game or even the latest office gossip. When speaking with your clients, it’s important to maintain a level of professionalism by having an agenda for your attendees to follow.
An agenda can be as simple as a hand-written list, or as complex as a spreadsheet with all of the information up for discussion. Whatever the case may be, having an agenda will give your callers a central rallying point to fall back on when the conversation begins to stray.
Having an agenda will also help reduce the time needed to complete the call. In all honesty, no one enjoys a lengthy meeting, and, in fact, attendees start to disengage and become bored once a meeting has gone on too long. By streamlining your meetings with an agenda, you’ll increase their efficiency tenfold and give your clients a professional representation of how you conduct business.
Only Invite Necessary Participants
One of the best ways to streamline any meeting or conference call is by only inviting the right people to the event. Having the wrong individuals in a meeting can be disastrous, given that someone who has no stock in what’s being discussed will become bored quickly and begin conversations that could derail the entire meeting.
When you’re creating your agenda for the meeting, you’ll want to take a few extra minutes to also create a guest list. Go over your guest list thoroughly and think about what each member of the meeting will bring to the discussion. Was Jim really a necessary participant just because he’s head of shipping?
Once you’ve narrowed down the guest list, be sure to send everyone (including the client) a copy of the agenda a few days beforehand. This will give everyone time to look over the discussion points and goals and decide if anything needs added or taken away.
Including your participants in the planning, phase ensures accuracy and efficiency in meeting goals, and eliminates unnecessary (and often distracting) input from people who shouldn’t have been attending in the first place.
Use a Conference Calling Service
When you use conference call services for client meetings, you’re providing a safe, secure, well-connected platform for the meeting to take place on. This can mean the difference between costly phone bills and dropped calls. If you’ve ever had a dropped call during an important meeting, you know how frustrating it can be for both sides of the call.
Conference calling services are simple; they’re web-based calling services that allow you to connect with anyone anywhere in the world for one fixed rate. No more long-distance charges on your company phone bill, or multi-caller charges driving up the cost of your phone services. Web-based conference calling operates on a fixed monthly or yearly rate, with packages for up to 1,000 callers available!
By utilizing this relatively new platform for your client meetings, you can be sure that calls are secure and cost-effective. Furthering the overall efficiency of your calls. You’ll be able to tackle more issues. Mmeet more of your goals this way, and you’ll do it without breaking the bank.
Have a Set Timeline to Streamline Client Meetings
Part of planning for a meeting is setting a timeline for which each item on the agenda should be completed. Allocating specific amounts of time to different topics will not only help keep discussions relevant but will shorten the overall length of the meeting and help keep everyone engaged.
Allocate time to each agenda topic, and set a timer for each if you must. Let everyone know ahead of time when the timer is close to running out. Moreover, make sure that your agenda is broken down into time slots so everyone knows what to expect.
Are you running the meeting? Someone else? Have you ever been to a meeting where it was unclear who was actually running it? Clear leadership can serve a twofold purpose; it will help define who is in charge of the agenda. Keep everyone on track. Give everyone a rallying point should the meeting become off-topic.
A good leader is prompt, concise, and enforces the meeting’s goals and agenda. If you’re leading the meeting, it’s important to let the participants know. That way, everyone has a clear understanding of your expectations as well as what to expect from you.
Good leadership will also give your business a sense of professionalism in the eyes of the client. With a clear agenda, allocated time slots for each goal. A good leader heading up the meeting, you’ll experience a more efficient meeting. In addition, help set the bar for future gatherings.
Client Meetings Streamline Conclusion
In conclusion, meetings should be productive, not counterproductive. To keep them this way, always plan ahead. Include the right participants. Keep everyone informed. Make sure that whoever is designated to lead the meeting is organized. Punctual, and concise.