There will definitely be a lot of things flying through your head before an important business meeting, but you should try to focus on just a few questions. Whether you’re an entrepreneur who wants to partner with a supplier for an exciting new project, or even a freelancer presenting their work to an agency, business meetings can accomplish a lot and are usually more informal than interviews. However, you’ll still need to bring your A-game and present your best self, after all, you don’t want to go through all this for nothing!
Where should I host the meeting?
If you already have an office where you can host private meetings, then you should certainly take this opportunity. Having the meeting on your home turf is a power move of sorts, but it will make you feel more comfortable to be in familiar surroundings. If whoever you’re seeing really wants to host the meeting in their office, then just go along with it and don’t create a standoff. A neutral place like a restaurant or coffee shop is a nice idea if it’s just for a chat, but if you need to present things on a laptop or folder, then having the general public along for the ride might not be suitable.
Am I prepared?
Looking the part is almost 80% of the battle, some say. If you project confidence via your image, then you will hopefully feel confident inside! This comes from wearing business attire, taking care of your hygiene (especially making sure you have fresh breath and nothing stuck in your teeth), and of course having a hairstyle that is considered professional and respectable. Being prepared also comes in the form of having PowerPoint presentations ready, any portfolios or creations brought along with you, and a ready and rehearsed pitch to your audience.
What do I want to get from this meeting?
Finally, you’ll really need to think about how to end the meeting. Do you want to secure a business deal there and then? Do you simply want to put yourself on their radar? Do you want to hear their own ideas and see how competent they are? You have something to aim for if you have a real goal to reach from the meeting. If you go in blind and don’t know what you’re even doing this meeting for, then the other person(s) will notice right away and will probably be equally uninterested in the get-together.
Always have an answer ready and be assertive, confident, and sure of all the questions they might have of you. Likewise, have questions ready for them and show that you’re interested in a collaboration. Oh, and don’t forget to be on time! No one likes to be kept waiting in the world of business!
John Pearson is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.