“When your heart speaks, take good notes.” -Judith Campbell
Taking meeting notes is probably as Business 101 as it gets. Yes, I take notes during meetings … let’s skip this chapter. Not so fast grasshopper. Yeah, you take notes, but are you taking the right notes? Yes, I note deadlines, contact information, blah, blah, blah. Did you note that your client’s son has a piano recital next Thursday? Was there a sticky note about the administrative assistant’s favorite pastry? If those aren’t part of your note-taking skills, you might want to read on.
It’s no secret that small personal connections with clients can make the difference between just pounding the pavement and bringing home the deal. Calling your client Friday morning to see how little Johnny’s piano recital went or bringing a piece of baklava the next time you’re in the office could go a long way toward sealing the deal … toward securing someone’s business. If price, service, and quality are equal, who are you most likely to place an order with? The person who sent you a handpicked and signed birthday card, or the person who only calls to see if you’ve run out of widgets?
Making client, or even team member, connections on this level gives an added value to the relationship experience. As you probably deal with hundreds of people a week, keep a short list of personal follow-up items as part of your meeting prep. This is not meant to be a creepy, stalkerish list of inappropriate information. With the sheer number of contacts you likely have, a reminder mechanism of this value-added proposition is necessary. Over time, as you build strong, trust-based relationships with your prospects, clients, and colleagues, the need for these types of memory joggers will wane. Until it does, these notes could mean the difference between “so-so” and being stellar!
Really, A Section on Meeting Notes?: Accelerators
- Name your top three clients and your top two internal stakeholders.
- Now, write down three important facts or “nuances” you know about each one of them … things that are important to THEM.
- Now, list your top ten external clients and your top ten internal stakeholders. Make it your mission to learn what’s important to them.
Dr. Jeff D. Standridge is the best-selling author of “The Innovator’s Field Guide” and “The Top Performer’s Field Guide.” He serves as Managing Director for the Conductor and Innovation Junkie, and teaches in the College of Business at the University of Central Arkansas. Jeff helps organizations and their leaders generate sustained results in the areas of innovation, strategy, profit growth, organizational effectiveness and leadership. Learn more at InnovationJunkie.com.