Making the Most of Any Business Meeting
Since pilot season is just around the corner, for the past month, I have been caught up in the rat race of trying to lockdown a new manager. And not just any manager, but a manager that is the perfect fit for me – driven, intelligent, respectful, connected – and most of all – passionate about me and my potential to break through in Los Angeles.
After securing nearly a dozen meetings, I’ve learned a few things about how to make the most of these meetings and forming lasting relationships, whether or not I sign with them. So if you have an upcoming business meetings, read on for my insights on how to rock them and I happy to say that I have just signed with a new management team that I couldn’t be more pleased with.
Insights to rocking any business:
Insight #1: Do your research
Know who you are meeting with and be able to answer the key questions below before you enter the room:
- What is the name and title of the person that you are meeting with?
- How long have they been at the company?
- How did you find them?
- Do you have any contacts in common?
- Where did they work prior to their current position?
- Who are their clients?
Insight #2: Know the purpose of the meeting
When taking meetings in this business, you can have varying reasons for meeting with someone, so you better be clear on why you want to meet with this person. You don’t want to waste their time or yours and if you do, it might be the first and last time that you given the opportunity to get in the room with them.
Possible purposes for taking a meeting:
- I want this person to sign/represent me.
- I want this person to connect me with “x” person within their network.
- I want to learn how this person achieved “x” in their career.
- I want to establish an on-going relationship with this person because of “x.”
- I want another meeting with “x” and his/her office.
Insight #3: Have questions
After the greetings and initial chit-chat, they will inevitable ask, “So what questions do you have for me?” Remember, don’t ask questions for the sake of asking them, make sure they are appropriate to the context of the meeting and is actually relevant to your purpose of the meeting. Also, be sure to ask questions about them as well and not just about, “What can you do for me?”
Insight #4: Know that you are valuable and be confident
It’s easy to get intimidated when meeting with potential managers, agents, producers, and other industry professionals, but remember that they took the meeting with you for a reason. They see something in you and want to learn more about you, so be confident when you are in the room and own who you are. Just like in the audition room, your energy enters the room before you even open your mouth. The same goes for taking business meetings, your energy enters the room before you even open your mouth. So make sure that you are confident, calm, and open to having a positive experience and remember that you are valuable and able to add value to them as well.
Insight #5: Never leave the room without establishing the next steps
Just like with the purpose of your meeting, the next steps after a meeting can vary. However, the most important element of any meeting, is establishing the what’s next that moves the relationship forward.
Possible next steps include:
- Sending them additional materials that they requested in the meeting.
- Confirming whether or not you want to sign with them.
- Following-up with them if they were supposed to provide you with additional information.
- Scheduling another meeting, perhaps with additional people from their office
Insight #6: Always send a thank you note or email
No matter how you think the meeting went or didn’t go, be sure to send a personalized thank you note to the person that you met with. I would be sure to include a tid-bit that is directly connected to what you discussed during the meeting to establish a genuine connection.
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