Four tips to bounce back from a bad meeting

We’ve all had one of those meetings – uncomfortable, not going to plan or plagued by miscommunication. Don’t worry. There’s plenty you can do to put things right.

1.What actually went wrong?

First thing’s first: diagnose what went wrong. Any client meeting, good or bad, should be followed up with an internal debrief. If it was just you at the meeting, consider hashing things out with a co-worker so you can fully understand what happened. But remember to include both sides of the story or the exercise won’t be fruitful.

Give yourself a bit of time before you do this, so you can gain some clarity. It’s important you don’t go into a debriefing session while still riled up or disappointed about what happened.

Questions you can ask yourself during this debrief include:

  • Was I adequately prepared?
  • What factors contributed to the unsuccessful meeting?
  • Was I too harsh or dominant when I spoke?
  • How did the client react when I spoke? How did the client speak to me?
  • And most importantly, did I take the time to listen to what the customer was really telling me?

All of these questions may  help you determine why the meeting went sour and how best to fix it next time.

2.Ask for help

There are plenty of organisations who can help you train for meetings and public speaking. Let’s face it, not everyone enters a meeting filled with confidence. Some people  find it more difficult to get their self-assurance to where it needs to be. This is ok – as long as you face up to it and ask for help.

If training isn’t an option, ask your friends, co-workers or family for their tips on how to get through meetings and high-pressure situations. You never know; someone close to you may have experienced the same thing and can share insights about how they handled it.

3.Schedule another meeting

It may sound clichéd but it’s true: it’s always best to get back on the horse. Depending on how the last meeting went, you might be able to try again with the same client. On the other hand, it may be better to meet someone else first, so you can approach things with renewed confidence. Regardless of who you’re meeting, go in prepared.

Prior to the meeting, sit down and analyse what you’re going to talk about. Why has the client called on you? Do they need a loan or financial advice? Write an agenda, including the topics that need to be discussed.

Have everything ready so when the client asks questions, you have the answers. Also have a list of questions you need to ask. Preparedness always reflects well, no matter what the outcome of the meeting.

4.Remember, it’s ok

Finally, don’t beat yourself up. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has bad days. Recognise what went wrong, take steps to fix the issue and jump back into the game. It will do wonders to help restore your confidence.

For more ideas about running a good meeting, please contact your BDM.