Yesterday we analysed the first 3 points of the checklist to make meetings more profitable:
- Set a time for the end of the meeting
- Take notes and take them well!
- Use the ENOUGH-WITH- method
Now let’s move on to the last two:
Most of the time the meeting outcome must be a list of things to do and objectives to be achieved by a certain date.
Therefore, the meeting output at the bottom of the draft (see point 2), must be a summary table containing:
– what the result should be
– by when
Talking about “by when”, let the person in charge make the commitment: how much time do you need? By when do you think you can___?
A typical example is the forecasting of sales meetings:
– how many negotiations between those you have just listed you plan to close?
– Are you sure about this?
– by when?
If you don’t create this table, something in the meeting didn’t work.
Could it have been a meeting without a follow-up? Could nobody have anything to do? It seems strange to me…
Tie a knot in your handkerchief
The fifth point is the most diabolical.
But it helps to make meetings really fruitful.
It’s a very simple exercise. Still, I don’t know why, but I’ve seen it applied methodically by very few managers and entrepreneurs.
That’s what it’s all about:
start the next meeting again from the who-does-what-when table of the previous meeting, and ask the managers if they have done what was planned, if they have achieved the result, etc.
If they didn’t do so, ask for explanations. And update the table for the next meeting.
No one likes to have to explain every time why he hasn’t finished what he himself had assured he would surely do.
If you have the consistency to do this exercise every time, the joint use of
table who-does-what-thing-when + query in the next meeting
will make your meetings PRODUCTIVE, rather than a loss of time.
But remember: persistence wins. If you stop knotting your handkerchief, the general mess begins again.
Okay, we are done with the checklist of 5 simple things for an effective meeting.
If you want a very well-structured overview of meeting management, I recommend an old book with the emblematic title: “The Strategy of Meetings”, by George David Kieffer, ed. Sperling & Kupfer. I hope it’s still in print. (Otherwise maybe you find it on Amazon).
For further information on the hottest topics of Marketing and Sales, I refer to the B2B Club Newsletter, the monthly newsletter for SME owners and marketing and sales managers.