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Meetings - Make Sure You Talk, Make Sure You Listen

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 16 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Sales Meeting Project Clients

It can be very tempting to think that your hard work will not be recognised unless you make sure you make your contributions very clear in meetings. There is some truth in that because the very quiet, meek people in meetings will not be the ones getting the promotions, either.

So, it is most likely that the best place to be is somewhere in the middle, so let’s have a look at the various scenarios that can occur in meetings and practical suggestions for how different personality types can effectively deal with them.

Project Meetings

If you are in a meeting for a project that you are working on, it is most important that you are prepared. There is no point thinking that, just because you are working on the project you can wing it in the meeting. It may only take you five minutes to collect your thoughts and be clear on what you need to say in the meeting, but without preparation you will not come across in the correct manner.

This meeting will also give you the opportunity to find out or clarify what other people involved in the project are doing – even if you already know, make sure you allow your colleagues their time to explain their involvement.

Most project meetings are updates and each person will be expected to play their part. There may be a person that is leading or chairing the meeting – make sure that you listen to their comments, especially as there may be some updates you were not aware of since the last meeting and you will need to take them on board.

Sales Meetings

If you are involved in the sales functions of your workplace you are sure to be expected to attend and contribute to sales meetings. These can be frantic affairs and can also put people on the spot. You will be asked what leads you have generated or followed up since the last meeting, what client visits or appointments you have set up and what your targets are – weekly or monthly – so make sure you have this information to hand.

There is nothing worse than knowing you are doing a good job and reaching your targets but not telling the people that matter in sales meetings. When your time comes, speak clearly, slowly and concisely, explain what you have achieved, how you have achieved it and what you plan to do before the next meeting. Then allow your colleagues to speak – know when to stop.

Client Meetings

Client meetings take on many forms depending on how well you know the client, what stage you are at with the project and who else is attending. If you are leading the meeting, make sure your objectives are clear – you could email a list to your colleagues attending and even the client, if appropriate. If it is a new client, do your homework – google the company, have a good read of their website or any brochures and understand what makes them tick. If you attend a networking group, you could ask who knows about the organisation and if they can give you any tips.

If you are in the meeting but not playing a key role, you will still be there for a reason, which won’t be to enjoy the free sandwiches. Don’t just sit there looking bored. It may be that how you act is being assessed with regards to a promotion opportunity, so be prepared and get involved.

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