1. Have a specific GOAL, or list of OBJECTIVES, that will define the purpose of the meeting. When the meeting is called to discuss a specific project, then your goal is to get the information you need to determine how you will meet the client’s expectations and the project time-table. You must also determine whether you can do the job on your own, or if will you need to sub-contract some part of it. A few days before the meeting, start jotting down questions that will bring out the necessary info.
2. Create a meeting AGENDA, which can be that list of questions you’ve come up with.
3. Arrive EARLY to the meeting,15 minutes ahead of time. Go to the restroom and check your appearance.
4. Turn off your PHONE.
5. Do not TALK TOO MUCH. Remember that the meeting’s purpose is for you to gather information and for the client to communicate project needs and timetable, confirm that you are qualified to do the job and get a sense of how it will be to work with you. By all means, greet your client with some friendly banter that reveals your authentic self. A minute or two of social lubricant is necessary to relax everyone. Just don’t let the chit-chat go on and on. You are the one who must gracefully segue into the business conversation.
6. Don’t be PASSIVE. Remember that you’ve been invited into the meeting to make a contribution, to add your expert insights and opinions. Speak up when necessary. Ask questions, provide answers.