As you can likely attest, most business meetings waste productive time and last far longer than they should. But until we learn to communicate telepathically, meetings will remain a necessary evil—not only as a means of exchanging ideas and information, but also as a way of building relationships with others. That doesn’t mean you have to like them, but you can certainly make them more tolerable by applying these tips:
Tip Sheet #8 from Doing the Right Things Right
Sometimes setting a motivational fire within the team can be useful if it jolts people out of complacency—or sheer laziness—and gets them back to work. Since teamwork rules in the business environment, having team members who don’t shoulder their share of the load can jam the work process gears, bringing productivity to a halt. Not only do slackers slow team efficiency, their attitude may infect others.
Don’t automatically assume your slackers realize what’s happening. Their poor performance may not be deliberate. They may be so worried about something at home they can’t do a good job at work. Possibly, they lack the right training to do as well as they should. Perhaps they’re overwhelmed, not a good fit for their jobs, or bored. Maybe they don’t recognize their own incompetence. So before lowering the boom, start with these corrective actions:
It used to be that a great personality was enough to capture the attention of a trade show visitor. But, what worked once may not be applicable today.
We are faced with a fast changing demographic of trade show attendee. The traditional baby boomers are quickly being replaced by GenXers and Millennials who are different in many ways from their elders. They are more demanding, more skeptical and more tech savvy. Attempting to capture their attention in ways that once worked for boomers simply no longer will work. One of the techniques that is growing in popularity is the use of games. While games such as a putting contest or a draw have been used for years, today’s visitors demand more from the activities that attract them. The rock group Abba said it best in the refrain to their hit song “The Name of the Game,”
What’s the number one cause of a negative impact on your brand at your exhibition booth? Clutter!
Clutter happens at a trade show almost by accident. It can happen when one of your staff carelessly drapes a jacket over a chair, leaves a notebook on a counter, places a coffee cup on the display or ignores the scatterings of literature or products by visitors. It all produces clutter which in turn affects visitor’s perception of your corporate professionalism. In the 1960’s psychologist Albert Mehrabrian stated that 55% of a person’s opinion of the people they meet comes from what they see. It is a safe postulation that the same judgement comes from your booth presentation.
One of the highest ranking reasons that attendees identify for visiting an exhibition or event is their ability to connect with high value people. This rationale is at the heart of any trade event which has buyers and sellers from a broad geographic reach under one roof for a finite amount of time. Networking always has been and will continue to be what trade shows are all about. With the advances in technology, which seems to have moved people away from face to face contact, the need to network in person has never been greater. Yet, meeting strangers is, for many people, on the top of the list of social fears. These people ignore the potential benefits of networking and use excuses like:
“What’s your goal of this meeting?”
I asked the sales rep I was training.
“To build a good relationship,”
she proudly replied.
If you’re ever in the scenic Green Mountain region of Vermont, tour the Ben & Jerry’s factory for a tasty and entertaining experience. You’ll get a real sense of the company’s history and their decidedly anti-establishment grass-roots slant that remained their guiding light since startup. Stop by the gift shop at the end and you’ll find Co-Founder Jerry Greenfields’s whimsical slogan “IF IT’S NOT FUN, WHY DO IT?” emblazoned on various articles and keepsakes for sale.
Recently I was listening to Kelly Hrudey, former LA King goalie, and now a Hockey Night In Canada commentator. He was taking calls when a father of a young and budding goalie asked what is the one piece of advice Hrudey would give to the young and perhaps future star. Now you would think that if it came down to one thing, the one thing that would really make a difference, perhaps change the young man’s approach, it would have to be profound and special, something perhaps not obvious to hockey neophytes, and certainly not something that the average Joe public could deliver. Can you guess what he said?
I am pulling my hair out. Banging my head against the wall. Writing… erasing… writing again. I just can’t seem to get it right. What’s causing me such distress? Words. My value proposition. How I entice people to do business with me. I’m in the process of changing my website to emphasize my speaking. When my targeted prospects pop onto those pages, I want them to say, “Wow. She totally gets the challenges we’re facing. That’s exactly what we want our salespeople to do. We need to bring her in to our next meeting.”