Are you trying to figure out why your clients regularly avoid meeting with you or constantly reschedule just to doze off when the meeting actually occurs? This week, Humanize IT invited fellow PitchIT contestant George Miller to join us in discussing this head-scratching topic. George is with the cloud software company Cloud Readiness and has a 40-year background working with MSPs. Throughout his experience with MSPs, he’s been a part of a great number of meetings, and he has learned quite a bit about how to make your client meetings successful and engaging.
Before we dive into the “how,” let’s talk about the “why.” Why do your clients avoid your meetings, and what is it that makes meetings so dreadful?
Meetings tend to have a negative connotation attached to them due to a large majority of the workforce having poor prior experiences. For example, no one enjoys a meeting where they’re gathered around a conference table purely to listen to a presenter ramble on for an hour, and we can all agree that this type of meeting tends to happen regularly in the business world.
Here’s the thing, MSPs: meetings don’t have to be terrible! When it comes to meetings, they’re supposed to be just that – a meeting. They’re not an “attendance,” but a meeting of people to discuss ideas and share thoughts. However, discussion can be difficult, and as a result, it has been pushed out of the concept of meetings. Without this conversation, the meeting is not going to feel productive, and it’s likely not going to be productive, either. This is why it’s important to be a good meeting facilitator when meeting with your clients.
The meeting facilitator is not there to present but to ensure that all participants are actively engaging in the discussion. Your clients aren’t going to participate in the meeting if you are talking in terms they don’t understand. For example, you’re a technical person, but they’re not, so don’t use technical terms and instead opt for language and terms that make more sense to them. When you do this, your clients not only better understand what you are saying, but it’s easier for them to focus on the topic at hand.
Another way to ensure your clients are focused and engaged is to ask questions. We don’t mean to quiz your clients, but rather ask questions that invite them to join in on the conversation. It doesn’t even have to be relevant to the topic. I enjoy starting my meetings off by asking everyone in the room what the best part of their week has been so far. This does two things: it makes the conversation more personal by establishing a connection, and it gets the participants engaged right off the bat.
The entire point of your meeting should be to connect with everyone that is sitting with you at the table and create a fruitful discussion. When this is done, not only are your clients enjoying the meetings, but you are going to walk away feeling far more accomplished than if those connections and conversations were not made and held.
Next week, we will dive further into how to make your meetings more engaging and interesting, and how to establish these important connections with your clients.