Sunil was delayed by 20 minutes finding parking slot for his 11:00am customer meet. He had been requested to sign and collect the customer order at 11:00am. Precisely 11:20am Sunil knocked on Purchase Manager’s Cabin but he wasn’t there. His secretary said he has left for a meet. Sunil never came to see the light of purchase order. Reason – if you can come late to collect purchase order; how can we trust you to deliver systems on time? So what are the unwritten rules for customer meeting?
- Rule # 1: Leave early and reach early for the customer meetings. Account for rush hours and parking time delays.
- Dress for the occasion. If you are meeting a C level executive, wear a suite, otherwise too wear a suit. “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain
- Carry your Notebook computer, USB stick and the wireless pointer for the meeting. And if you are making a presentation ensure that you have a backup copy on the USB memory stick. Many organizations do not allow a third party Notebook to be connected on their office network.
- Confirm your meeting early through an email and email the meeting agenda.
- 24 hours in advance, reconfirm your meeting through an email or phone call made by your secretary or a 3rd party person (depends on the strength of your relationship – you can take the liberty to reconfirm yourself). Don’t be caught with “He has been called away by General Manager for an urgent meeting”
- Script a clear agenda for the meeting including decision expected and don’t hesitate to refer during the meeting. It reflects professionalism, preparedness and point of reference.
- Get your team together and take them along if necessary; including supply chain, finance or technology team.
- Rehearse the meeting with your team and identify the roles and responsibility. Choreograph the meet.
- If it’s you only for the meet, rehearse in your head the agenda and outcome.
- Get clarifications for the points pending from the earlier meeting with your customer.
- In the event you need to make a referral call or call to 3rd party to complement the meeting. Arrange with them early and put them on standby to expect the call.
- And finally work on two minds; yours and your customer.
- If it’s a presentation; fix up for early morning hours or an hour later after lunch time. These are ideal time slots when the two minds are on alert and receptive mode.
- Before the meet practice playing the meeting movie in your head getting the desired results.
Good luck for the meeting