How do you prepare?

Jan 17, 2012

rushingtoameetingDoes this sound familiar?
You have a meeting with a potential client, it could be a very large client
with many opportunities for additional business as well. It will take you
about 15 minutes to get to your appointment, so you plan on leaving about 25
minutes before the meeting to give yourself a slight cushion. As you’re
about to leave you realize you forgot to print out some paperwork you must
have. You go to print it out and realize the ink in the printer needs to be
replaced, so you take the old cartridge out and start to open the new one –
you’re now at 20 minutes before your meeting time but not panicking yet. You
get the paperwork printed, get in the car and start out on your
pre-determined route. About 5 minutes in you come to a broken light that is
now a flashing light…ugh! You will definitely be late now. You call the
potential client and their voicemail picks up so you think you’re ok and get
through the light and are once again on your way. You now get within blocks
of your destination and hear sirens behind you, uh-oh you were in such a
hurry that you hurried your way right into a speeding ticket.
You finally arrive at your meeting 35 minutes late and a not so happy client
to be. They still meet with you and hear what you have to offer, they had
asked you to bring along a particular example of your previous work which in
your hurry you left on top of your printer. They let you know that they are
meeting with a few others and will get back to you. After 2 weeks you
haven’t heard back from them so you decide to follow up only to be told that
they have decided to go with someone else.
Do you believe that your punctuality or preparation had anything to do with
their decision? What is certain is the that the business was not given to
you. It could have been for a variety of reasons; price, experience etc.
Unfortunately, you just gave them 2 more reasons to tip the scale in your
competitions favor.
How do you prepare for meetings? Do you schedule time in your calendar at
least 48 hours prior to your meeting to actually prepare and/or print
everything you might need?
Please share your tips with us