Small-Medium Business – 7 Tips For More Effective, Purposeful and Shorter Business Meetings

The Constant Complaints
People complain constantly that lots of the meetings they attend are inadequate in some way. No conclusions are reached. No decisions are made. Disagreements aren’t resolved. Other people waffle on. Note that it’s always “others” who waffle. The meetings drag on. They don’t get a good hearing and so on and so on.

These ideas may help alleviate the worst meeting excesses

1. Be Punctual.
Start on time regardless of how many of the expected people are present. If that means latecomers miss out on something they wanted to say, so be it. Over time they’ll learn to be punctual.

2. Finish On Time.
Set a finish time and stick to it. If you have unfinished business when the allotted time expires, schedule another meeting. It’s quite unreasonable to expect busy people to sit in seemingly endless meetings when they’ve already interrupted normal work to attend.

3. Restrict Participation.
Invite contributors only. No one should be asked to attend a meeting “for experience” or “as a presence”. If people have nothing to contribute or aren’t likely to be affected by what’s discussed at the meeting, there’s usually no need for them to be at the meeting.

4. Clear Objectives.
Specify the purpose of the meeting and stick to it. Stop participants from introducing other issues unless they are likely to have a major impact on the meeting purpose. Have a topic and a goal and stick with them.

5. Full Participation.
Encourage full participation at all times. Try to ensure that everyone feels that they’ve had the opportunity to “have their say”. Some participants may want to out talk or talk down others. Stop this sort of thing the moment it starts.

6. Encourage Small Meetings.
Where only a few participants are qualified to speak on a particular aspect or issue, encourage them to meet separately and report back to the whole group. This also ensures that your meeting isn’t bogged down in discussing technical matters where few participants have the expertise to participate fully.

7. Record Decisions.
Make notes of any conclusions or decisions reached. Record to whom responsibilities are allotted with deadlines. Circulate this information to attendees after the meeting. If another meeting is necessary, schedule it before people leave. If you need another meeting, it’s best to arrange it while everyone’s together.

Conclusion.
Meetings can be boring, tedious and even unpleasant. They can also be effective, purposeful and enjoyable. Every business meeting should enhance and improve business progress and success. If that’s not the case in your business, try these tips.

Getting the Most Out of a Business Meeting

Most of us spend a large part of our work day going from business meeting to another without bothering to assess if we are actually gaining anything out of them. Is there a way to make business meetings more productive?

In order to make the most out of a business meeting you need to improve the productivity of each such meeting. Every meeting should extract the maximum possible for the duration that it lasts. Do not try to make a meeting cover everything under the sun. Instead, try to make sure that the items on the agenda for the particular meeting are covered effectively. At the end of the meeting, the participants should leave knowing the tasks that they need to accomplish.

Here are a few more tips to get the most of out your business meetings.

Business meetings should never be held on an ad hoc basis. You should prepare for a meeting in advance. Start by listing the objectives of the meeting. These objectives need to be clear, specific and measurable. These will help you check if you have covered the meeting goals. You will also waste less time trying to get to the point. List out the expectations or results that you expect from the meeting. During the course of the meeting, encourage the other participants to contribute with their ideas and opinions so that you have their buy-in. The more involved people are, the quicker you will be able to see results. Focus on the bigger issues at hand and do not let tertiary issues take over the meeting. Allow the tone of the meeting to be casual but do not let that make the participants treat the meeting as being frivolous. Leave the jokes for later.

Do not invite people to business meetings unless their presence is required. Just invite those who can actually contribute to the agenda of the meeting. This avoids wasting time for those people who are not really required. Business meetings should be held in a pleasant environment that makes the participants feel relaxed and comfortable. If required, you could rent out an office or conference venue for the meeting so that people have the opportunity to unwind.

Although you have prepared the points that need to be made do not be in a hurry to get to them immediately. Set a steady pace for the meeting and start by making everyone feel comfortable. The tempo should neither be too slow nor too fast.

Best Ever Prospecting Letters for Commercial Brokers

In commercial real estate brokerage the prospecting letter process really works. To be successful at it you need to plan the process and control your actions as you progress.

Why will the ‘letter’ process help your prospecting efforts today? Well, it’s because the letters are less inclined to be ‘binned’; that is of course if you plan them correctly and follow the rules.

Here are some facts in comparing letters to emails:

  • Prospecting emails are not very successful at all. Most of the people you send them to will delete the communication quickly. As a by-product of the process you must have their approval to communicate in that way, otherwise you will be breaking the laws on ‘spam’.
  • A letter is very professional as long as you do not ‘overdo it’. In commercial real estate the best letter is compiled on one single page. The contents should be contained in no more than 4 paragraphs. Sign the letter personally in blue ink. Ensure that your signature is legible and professional (don’t sign in a ‘scrawl’ as it sends the wrong message).
  • Create the correspondence to introduce your upcoming telephone call. Make the call a few days after the letter has been received. The prospect will be expecting your call and will be more inclined to take it.
  • Always put your business card in the envelope. Don’t put anything else in a prospecting letter. The object is to sell yourself and your upcoming telephone call. Don’t confuse the message with bulky brochures on other issues and property matters. Focus on the one thing that is important, and that is your upcoming telephone call.
  • Design the letter for the person you are writing to. In other words you should have separate letters covering sales, leasing, property management, and retail. Get away from the generic approach and be specific to a part of the industry. Sell your upcoming telephone call on that basis.
  • Get a reference book on ‘words that sell’ or ‘phrases that sell’. Add a few words from the books into your letter to increase readability.
  • Every good prospecting letter should have a great headline. You want the person to read the message. Perhaps the headline you use could reflect local property activity or changes. Understand the concerns of the market and match the letter to the focus of investors, property owners, or tenants as the case may be.
  • The letters should be sent every 60 to 90 days. As part of that process, follow-up as many of the letters that you can. It directly follows that you should not send out too many at once and thereby create a situation where you cannot make the calls.

This is a system of prospecting. The letters are part of the bigger picture. They do not replace cold calling, but they add to the momentum that you would have in other prospecting processes. Start using the system as a boost to your market share.

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