meetSunil 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?

  1. Rule # 1: Leave early and reach early for the customer meetings.  Account for rush hours and parking time delays.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. Confirm your meeting early through an email and email the meeting agenda.
  5. 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”
  6. 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. 
  7. Get your team together and take them along if necessary; including supply chain, finance or technology team.
  8. Rehearse the meeting with your team and identify the roles and responsibility.  Choreograph the meet.
  9. If it’s you only for the meet, rehearse in your head the agenda and outcome.
  10.  Get clarifications for the points pending from the earlier meeting with your customer.
  11. 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.
  12. 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