Top 10 Secrets for Effective Team 100 Meetings
By Veronika (Ronnie) Noize, the Marketing Coach
Deliberate, organized networking can be one of the strongest lead generators for your practice, and I personally have found that Team 100 meetings work like magic for me. After more than 200 Team 100 meetings (and lots of trial and error -- believe me, you'd be shocked at the number of mistakes I made!), I discovered ten secret keys to making the most of my meetings.
I am sharing these with you because I want you to make the most of your Team 100 program, and not damage your reputation or put you in an uncomfortable situation in the process, so please, learn from my experience!
1. Start the meeting on a positive note, with a smile, some words of appreciation, and a personal touch such as a handshake (or hug, if you've got that kind of relationship). This sets a friendly, upbeat tone for your meeting.
2. Use a Team 100 Notes sheet. This will demonstrate your clear intention to ask specific questions (rather than just make something up on the fly), as well as give you a script to follow, thus moving the conversation along the right track in a timely manner.
3. Have an extra Team 100 Notes sheet to give to the other person. The act of writing down information helps lodge it firmly in our memories, and you want the other person to ask you the questions you are prepared to answer, and to remember your responses, right?
4. Be prepared to give your answers in five minutes or less. Many times these meetings will focus more on the other person for the first 20-25 minutes, but that doesn't mean that you can't get your point across when it's your turn to answer questions. You know the questions before the meeting, so you can be prepared to give clear, concise and memorable responses to the questions when you're asked, even with only five minutes to share.
5. Resist the temptation to have the meeting be all about you. Even if the other person is a more effective listener than a talker, it is your job to draw out the information you need to be able to refer to that person.
6. Never let the meeting morph into a sales or conversion conversation for you. Set up another meeting AFTER your Team 100 meeting if you get the chance, but don't allow the Team 100 meeting to turn into an immediate sales opportunity because that is not what you promised when you set up the meeting.
7. Honor your promises. If you say the meeting will last 30 minutes, end it at 30 minutes, even if that means you don't get to speak at length about your business. If you absolutely must extend the meeting, get permission to extend the meeting by five minutes, then do it.
8. Be prepared to end the meeting on a positive note. Think about what you want to say, and rehearse it in front of a mirror so that you don't draw a blank at the end of the meeting and stare at the other person in awkward silence. (See my Build Your Business with Networking article for suggestions on what to say.)
9. Set expectations for the meeting up front. Remember that although you are "in charge" of the meeting since you know how it should go and what questions will be asked (as well as how you plan to answer them), the other person needs to fully understand the meeting's purpose and flow. Be prepared to explain in advance how the meeting will work in terms of length and format, as well as what you both can hope to get out of it -- which is a better understanding of each other's businesses so that you can refer with confidence and precision.
10. Follow up the meeting with thanks. Yes, you can email your thanks if you're not a note-writing kind of person, but you must put something in writing because a phone call just won't cut it.
Yes, there may still be a few awkward pauses and missed opportunities in your conversations, but it does get easier (and more profitable!), I promise. And if you learn from my mistakes and use the secrets above as a guide, you'll get much more out of your Team 100 process than you would ever imagine!
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About the author
Veronika (Ronnie) Noize, the Marketing Coach, is a successful Vancouver, WA-based entrepreneur, author, speaker, and coach who helps small businesses attract more clients. Ronnie's web site is a comprehensive resource with free articles and valuable marketing tools for small office/home office business professionals. Visit her web site at www.VeronikaNoize.com, or call her at 360-882-1298.
Top 10 Secrets for Effective Team 100 Meetings © 2004 Veronika Noize. All rights reserved.
Author's note: You're welcome to use this article as content for your own ezine or web site! Just make sure that the article remains complete and unaltered (including the "About the author" info and copyright line at the end), and that you send a copy of your reprint to Ronnie@VeronikaNoize.com. You may also use my photo (found on my home page at www.VeronikaNoize.com) with the article.