Have you ever attended a meeting that went over the stated time and seemed to drag forever?

Unfortunately, it still happens. But, running a meeting this way shows that you don’t really respect your client’s time. 

The easiest way to combat this is to set a timeframe for the meeting. If you have an agenda (I spoke about this in one of my previous emails), it’ll be even easier. 

By reviewing your agenda, you can see how many new items you’ll cover. This can help you estimate the time necessary for the meeting more precisely. 

Don’t forget that your clients or employees may have agendas of their own. Make sure that you factor their agendas into the general time frame too. And, when estimating, give them enough time to voice their ideas without feeling rushed.

Of course, having an agenda and preparing the timeframe is one thing. But, on top of that, you need to have someone who’ll let participants know about it.

Remember that clients don’t appreciate feeling like they wasted their time. If they do, closing a deal will be hard if not impossible.

One of the things you can do to help them prepare for the meeting is choosing a meeting organiser.

For the role, you can choose someone from your firm. You can even be one yourself. The role of a meeting organiser is to:

  • – Figure out the participants and logistics. The more people, the more complicated this step could be.
  • – Arrange for the resources (conference room, equipment). You want to make all participants feel comfortable throughout the meeting.
  • – Send out the invitations. These aren’t always all formal – but you need to let your clients know (and remind them) about the meeting. 
  • – Define and pass out the agenda so that all participants know what to expect.
  • – Establish a facilitator and minute taker

And, lastly, let participants know if they need to make any preparations. This applies to both your employees and your clients. If you prepare your clients for the meeting, you’ll show them that you respect them and their time. This will take you one step closer to closing a new deal with them or expanding an existing one.