Preparing for a Big Business Meeting
Business Meeting Contracts and Negotiating a sweet deal.
Prospecting your target market for new leads has been rewarding and you and your team have landed a meeting with a lead you have been chasing for months the contract negotiating meeting is scheduled and you have the lead over your competitors. Here are some tips to help you prepare your team and yourself for the meeting so that you leave an impression and with the deal finalised.
The first thing you need to do is to allocate team members to research parts of the business meeting that they will be contributing towards having many hands makes for light work so Ill use a standard digital marketing agency example where they are being invited to talk about a proposal to redesign a prospective client website. You would start with assigning a web designer to begin researching similar companies and top ranking companies for their design structure and how they present themselves to the market. Next up you would have your SEO person map out the optimal site structure for making the website user friendly and functional for users to easily navigate the website this would also tie in with the content director working alongside the SEO to provide a very connected feel for the information and way that the content will be displayed. The developer will work with the designer to provide the exact requirements that the company wants to push forward in the meeting and everyone will provide their research findings to the project manager so that they have full understanding of what the plan is and what exactly the proposal will be about delivering.
Showing up to the meeting as a unified front will present your business as a well oiled machine.
Business Contract Preparation 7 Steps to Success
All the research has been completed and complied the project manager knows who is responsible for what and how it all interconnects great thats the start you wanted, but! do you take your ten man team into the meeting? do you just take the dev’s do you take the content director? it becomes like the school yard dodge ball scenario where the two team captains pick off the eager players one by one making their teams you will need to decide and reading this article should help you decide on your team selection and some great points to remember when preparing for the big business meeting.
If I was the man in charge I would have an idea of how many of the prospective client’s team may be present by them having 3 people attend and you bringing 10 people I think the word overkill is appropriate, aim for 3 people and my reasons are you need the project manager or who will become “client account manager” you will definitely need one of your dev team to be present for technical questions and my third pick would be the content director so I would have covered off Design & Development of the site with choosing the developer to attend believing that the dev and the designer would be on the same level and talking about their ends of the project would be a fair thought process and by choosing the content director the SEO and content director would also have been talking to each other about their prospective research fields meaning that the content director is all over the on page elements of the project now that you have my thoughts on how to assemble your team make your selection work for you again I am basing this on the standard digital marketing agency staff allocation.
Define the key concepts: Your team needs to know the client briefing and points that made them contact you or decide to meet with you i the first place so if the emphasis was on conversion rate of the new website then you would have each team member provide a part about how their element is involved with the conversion rate and any noteworthy features or ideas that they have. The last thing you want to do is hold all the info from your team or even worse they withhold all their relevant information from you not cool guy! Harvesting all the information to yourself leaves your team feeling under-utilised and this will show in the meeting. Prepare them with an agenda and sections of interest, Make your team excited to be part of this project have them feel warm and fuzzy every time you win a bid or tender they will feel more and more like part of the team if they have some input.
The Jim Carrey method works the Michael Jordan method works and these guys made it big time, take a moment to close your eyes and visualise your meeting how you see it unfold and go through your steps in your head allow your team to do this if they are interested. Michael Jordan visualised winning every game and multiple championships now while he didnt win every game he did win multiple championships and a lot of games going down as the best player in the game and he was a firm believer of pre game visualisation. After Jordan become the man in the NBA sports stars and celebrities were doing it every where.
Jim Carrey is another firm believer in the technique and to open this up a little more visualising your goals is a cognitive tool that accesses your imagination to help picture how you are going to do something. Your visual goal could be this big business deal, getting the girl or guy your are crushing hard on or even signing Kevin Durrant to a max contract to rep the Golden State Warriors all of those are highly achievable by mentally preparing yourself through visualisation.
One I use is to look at past results and my portfolio to cement that I can do this I find it works for me you might have another technique that makes you get into the zone.
Ok enough prep time and assembling of the teams lets cover more about the 7 steps.
Your Seven Tips for Business Contract Negotiation Success
1.Be Prepared,Briefing your team on how the meeting will play out and what parts they are responsible for and knowing when to present and when to listen for comment. Review the agenda and know the process of the meeting.
2.Plan what team member is responsible for preparing what documents and is going to speak on this during the meeting and what team member they hand off to after they finish.When you’re calling a meeting, take time to think about who really needs to be there. If you’re announcing a change, invite the people who are affected by the announcement. If you’re trying to solve a problem, invite the people who will be good sources of information for a solution. When people feel that what’s being discussed isn’t relevant to them, or that they lack the skills or expertise to be of assistance, they’ll view their attendance at the meeting as a waste of time.
These questions need to be asked before you are attending the business meeting. In the example above, a step-by-step process would look something like the following;
– Has Dev team been able to confirm that the design can be created and functions operational from the briefing?
– Has the Content on the existing website been audited for site structure suggestions and relating pages identified?
– Has the SEO devised a structured page plan and identified keyword opportunities?
– Is the team happy with the new proposed design and final version?
Answering these questions tells you that your team is capable of making the new design work, that your team is working together and that you are now ready for the business meeting.
3. Enter the meeting with confidence and greet each member of the clients team with a handshake and look them them in the eye this is sign of respect and good manners.
4.Control the conversation having a member of your team take centre stage and get talky can ruin the vibe of the business meeting and you can thank them and regain attention and focus back to the points, Should a member of the client party be flapping his or her gums more than is required a simple polite “We appreciate your feedback and will take notes from any other speakers?” that provides verbal confirmation to all invited that you have heard the concern and can take on new input now effectively frame working the group conversation.
5. Maintain positivity throughout the meeting, there may be some negative or non constructive input during the meeting that should not be taken to heart remain confident and positive keep your body posture in place and lead your team the thought of their leader demolished during a meeting will only flow downstream and that will present that your team was dismantled by some negative comments, beat that by remaining in control.
6.Start on time, end on time. This is a big silent factor that can win you clients Ive seen it work effectively and you will be surprised especially with more corporate types of clients where time is money, being known to start on time and end on time is a good reputation to have use it to your advantage. People love to know their going to be finishing on time this is a positivity booster and you will see human behaviour unfold when you implement this for your business meetings.
and onto our final point
7.Ending with results, in some cases this may not work but push for an answer get the definitive Yes you will be amazed at the amount of business meetings that end with the prospective client in complete control of when next contact is and what the result of the meeting is so dont be that guy reach out and ask for the decision, “So we have presented our thoughts what is your decision?” the way you ask will play a factor ask with confidence that you just delivered the Wolf of wall street speech to your client and he’s hungry to give you the work without confidence this will turn into a “dont call us we will call you” moment and you dont want that.
“Carpe Diem” Seize the day and win that business contract.
Business Meeting Results, How did you deliver?
Ask for the result and get a verbal confirmation that you have provided a well received proposal from the client make it known that you have the talent to complete the job and make it known you are ready to take the job and deliver as outlined in your compelling outline of deliverables. If you can get the nod of approval you can guess whats going on with your prospective client cant you?
The reality is that if people are allowed to bring smart devices into the meeting and if they have device cover where no one can see them using the device how long do you think they will last without playing around on the device? Also you can eliminate text messages, phone calls notifications everything that leads to distraction by saying leave your phones in the car. You want to have a contributing team not a candy crush obsessed team.
Team and Self review post business meeting
Review the meeting overall and look at points in your approach and delivery to improve on for the next meeting, always strive to improve with every step forward.
Some good questions for self or team review are;
- How was our opening statement received?
- What went over really well?
- Was there a dull moment?
- What didnt get the reaction we had planned?
- What didnt we have an answer for?
- What part of the meeting would we change and why?
A good honest review of you or your teams performance can reveal some adjustments that may help with the next meeting, do this after every meeting and you will soon find your delivery becoming stronger and stronger. Always learn from your mistakes and identify strengths and weaknesses where you can draw focus to or strengthen the delivery of a weaker point.
Take a round the table pop Q&A about the business meeting how everyone felt what improvements can be made or did they leave out anything that would of helped its always good to review processes and make improvements.
Make intelligent small talk in between the official meeting agenda and show confidence at all times ad your part of the proposal and dont overstep the talking read the play and respond to your teams body language at the end of the day you want to convert this business meeting into a paying client so use these steps to gather the best foot forward and engage your new business leads to sign them up as your long time loyal clients.
I hope this has helped you in some way. See you on the blog.