3 Ways To Have Better Meetings

Today I want to talk to you about the tools that help me have better meetings with my clients.

These tools can also be used in our everyday life, whether we’re having discussions with our clients, family members, friends, or our team.

When I say tools, I’m not necessarily talking about a physical tool. I’m talking about the social and interpersonal tools we all have that can be utilised to create a more fulfilling experience for everyone involved.

There are three tools I use all the time, and although they sound simple, the impact is long lasting.

Most importantly, they help to build trust between you and the other person. 

Three ways to have better meetings: 

In my role as a Financial Planner and Farm Business Coach, the first step I take is to make sure I set myself up to have better conversations with the people coming to see me.

One of the simplest ways to do this is to make sure the conversation is about the client and not about me.

This is often overlooked and perhaps a counter-intuitive approach, as service providers feel they need to sell themselves at the first opportunity. 

While I believe there comes a point when you need to demonstrate that you’re the right fit for the client, you don’t need to force it. 

Because this means shifting from active listening to passive listening, meaning you’re no longer absorbing what the client is saying because you’re thinking of how you will respond, completely missing an opportunity to learn about the person sitting in front of you.

One way I make sure I’m actively listening is to ask open-ended questions.

I have a series of questions I ask all my clients and then I look to extract the answers from them. The best way I have found to do this is as simple as to make sure that I keep quiet.

As I say, I’m there to ask good questions. I’ve found over the years that the client usually has the answers, they just haven’t been brought to the forefront yet.

If I’m talking 20% of the time, that means that the client is talking 80% of the time. I consider this a good meeting because I’m giving the client a chance to tell me about how they got to where they are and where they want to go from here.

It’s all very well to have these conversations, but there needs to be some sort of action plan as a result of any meetings and discussions we’re having.

Making sure we follow through with those actions, whether I need to do something, or the client needs to do something, is an important part of the building that trust.

If we’re dealing with something particularly complex or technical, I usually get an external specialists involved to help us with what it is we’re really seeking to achieve.

It’s not about me, it’s about the goals, aspirations and what the clients wishes to achieve. I’m just there to help facilitate that.

Ultimately, we do provide advice where advice is required, but the first point is understanding the situation and we can only really understand that situation by listening.

Asking questions, listening and follow through are important tools to have in your kit bag, because it’s going to help you understand your clients.

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