I’ve always said, “expectations are dangerous.” However, in this specific case I’d be 100% wrong. Setting an agenda prior to a client visit is a mandatory step in a successful visit and I’ll tell you why.
Here are the FOUR KEY reasons why I know agendas are beneficial not only to you, but your client as well.
Reason #1 – In this specific case it’s a really REALLY good idea to set your client’s expectations. Not many of us like to be dropped in on or surprised. We’re all starved for time. Please be sure you respect the client’s time. This is a pet peeve I’ve heard by many a client lately.
Reason #2 – Setting an agenda lets your client know you’re prepared. Obviously this means you show up with intentions to help your client’s business, so don’t under deliver on this.
Reason #3 – Send your agenda a day or two before your visit is scheduled. This will allow the client time to review and you time to handle any last minute twists and turns to the schedule.
Reason #4 – BRING THE AGENDA TO THE MEETING. Do you have a client who can’t seem to stay on task or on objective? We all do. Do your meetings take more turns than a formula one race car driver in Italy? Bring the agenda to the meeting at present it again at the beginning of the meeting. As you progress through the agenda physically cross off items of the list until you’re completed. Do not leave with unattended objectives. This one is on you, not them. Own the agenda.
Here is what your agenda should include:
- Meeting Date
- Meeting location
- Meeting specifics (try to keep this to five or six bullet points)
- Ask the client if there is anything they’d like to add?
- Any other details you may need to share prior to showing up.
So with all this said, many of us are visual learners so I’ve included an example agenda I sent just a week ago. Short and to the point.
ACTION ITEM: Put what you learned to use. Make sure your next meeting includes a solid agenda. Be efficient and set expectations prior to showing up. I guarantee your client will appreciate it and you’ll benefit by earning more of their respect.