Once you’ve completed those top 3 steps to make sure you avoid costing others time and money, you can take these 3 little bonus steps to ensure that your meeting goes smoothly.
Step 4 – Create the agenda for the meeting.
Notate who is responsible for each deliverable or topic. Even if you plan to discuss only one topic, state what that topic is and who will be responsible for bringing the information or deliverables for the topic. The agenda should clearly state who is responsible for what during the meeting. Distribute this agenda to all expected attendees at least two business days prior – earlier if possible.
Step 5 – Prepare the items for which you’re responsible.
When your appointment with yourself (Step 3) rolls around, do the leg work. You might be tempted to push it aside because either it’s not a task you’re excited about or perhaps in that moment you feel like there are more important things to do. But if you don’t complete this prep work, you’ll either end up scrambling and stressed or – worse – you’ll show up unprepared, which your customer or colleague will interpret as you don’t care about them.
Step 6 – Reconfirm the meeting date and time and the deliverability of any information or materials.
This should be done the week prior or at minimum 2 business days before the meeting. This gives all parties a chance to double-check their schedules and their readiness, as well as prevent any 11th hour cancellations. If for any reason the necessary information or materials will not be ready for the meeting, make arrangements to reschedule. It’s hard to put a dollar amount on what frustration costs if you arrive unprepared or cancel at the last minute. But the price you might pay could be the loss of a client or the loss of confidence your colleague used to have in you.
When you’re the one who confirms, reconfirms, and shows up to the meeting completely knowledgeable and ready to go, you’ll also be the one that your clients and colleagues remember as efficient and reliable.