Business meetings are essential to the bottom line. After all, a meeting with a lead could generate ongoing transactions if you make the sale. Business meetings are used for many purposes. Some might be a waste of time and annoy all the participants. Others can be the perfect weekly opportunity to check in and make sure everyone is coping with the demands of the business.
There are many reasons for meeting with colleagues or clients. But when is it best to meet in person, and when is it more efficient to use remote conferencing technology? Is there a difference in the way you should conduct meetings in these ways? And which is the most effective way to run a business meeting anyway?
Meeting To Make A Sale
Some of us are better at sales than others. Conducting a meeting with the sole purpose of converting a lead to a client requires a different approach to be effective. If you’re lucky enough to have potential customers come to you, it’s important you’re ready to handle the enquiries they have.
As soon as you get that enquiry, you need to act quickly to engage the interested party. There are pros and cons to meeting in person. You need to decide which are of paramount importance to you. If you want to get there quickly, you must have a full presentation rehearsed, packaged and ready to go. You can’t rush over there with no firm idea of how to engage this new lead.
If you prefer to be in the room with your lead, then you need to move fast. If you need to get to the other side of the country, or even overseas, you might need to charter a jet. Use a charter agent to get you the best private jet prices when you’re in a hurry. You might be able to get in your lead’s office in just a few hours, regardless of where they are. Using a flight gives you a chance to do some research and rehearsals on the way. If you’re driving yourself, you’re going to be tired, distracted and potentially unprepared.
The Benefits Of Being There In Person
If you are in the room, you are in control. You can ensure that the client is seeing what you want them to see. You can check they are interpreting what you want them to know in the right way. Watching your potential client’s reaction as they view your promo video gives you a deeper insight into their thinking. After all, so much of our communication is nonverbal and out of our control. You can fill in any gaps if you notice they’re looking confused. And you can completely change pace and tact if they look like they’re about to disengage.
Another benefit of being there is that you can make sure all enquiry forms and sales details are input correctly and in full. This saves the hassle of extra administration later and chasing the client for more information. It helps your business look efficient and slick, and it makes the process easy for the client.
Of course, there are disadvantages to this type of approach. For a start, it is time-consuming. Unless you have clarified and confirmed a specific amount of time for this meeting, your client might be clock watching throughout. We’re all busy, and we’ve all got better things to do than being hit with a lengthy hard sell. As for you, traveling and then delivering a pitch could leave you committed to just this one lead for a whole day or more. You need a pretty good conversion rate to justify the expense and time cost.
Video And Telephone Meetings
Many companies have fallen into the habit of using the phone or video conferencing for meetings even when participants are in the same building. There are several reasons for this. Sometimes it’s easier to demonstrate things with equipment or facilities in the room. If that space is too small to bring everyone in, then a video call makes perfect sense. Accessibility might be another problem that is solved with a video call.
Distance Is No Barrier To Participation
Of course, when participants are continents apart, this can be a very cheap way of conducting a meeting. There is no time spent traveling. And there are no costs involved because nobody has to move anywhere. It also opens up opportunities for remote or home working. Simply conduct your team meetings from anywhere in the world. You’re still in touch, and you’re able to see that everyone is well and engaged with the work at hand.
Conducting a business meeting like this is a lot different to doing so in person. You can only operate within a small framed area to stay within the shot. Technical glitches and lag can cause a few difficulties in communicating your ideas effectively and efficiently. You can also feel distant from the others, especially if there are two or three in each location. It has an odd clique feeling to it! You can’t read all of the body language because there is a limited view and limited movement range.
As with any business meeting, it is essential you have a purpose and a structure. You should make sure what you have to say is engaging. The entire process should be a two-way communication as well. Don’t stand there and deliver a lecture. Instead, use the meeting to meet. That means all the participants are in there so let everyone participate. Structuring your meeting so that you can convey points in short sections means that there are ample opportunities for discussion and ideas.
Everyone is busy. Don’t call meetings if all you want to do is disseminate information or your opinion. There are other, more efficient and cost-effective means of doing that. If you want to meet, remember the social aspect of it. Reactions and responses are important to how you lead the conversation so pay attention to them. Whether it’s for a sale or a creative brainstorming session, make sure you’re getting the most out of your business meetings.