During the week we invest a lot of time in our email inboxes but also meeting with people. The idea of this post is to share with you a few actions, including social media sites to maximise your efforts “before & after” each meeting:
First of all: Why are you meeting? Did you know that most of the meetings are not really necessary?
Chris Brogan made a valid point. Ask yourself: “Is this moving me forward?” If the answer is NO, then try to have a conference call instead. Use Skype for free calls and video calls (you can even share your screen for free).
Use also freecall.com for free calls to most landlines in the world (they also have a very handy iphone app).
The reminder: You might be scheduling the meeting way in advance, or not, but hey… we can all benefit from useful reminders. Nudgemail.com is a phenomenal free service. So simple that you don’t even have to sign up.
Let’s say you need a reminder for tomorrow. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or maybe email@example.com and you’ll get that reminder in your inbox, including options to even snooze it!
The person: If there’s something you want to assume nowadays (can’t stress this enough) is that people WILL google your name and will also look you up in sites like LinkedIn. This is one of many reasons why you want to pay very good atention to your LinkedIn profile and network.
So, going back to your upcoming meeting: run a search on that person’s full name. See what Google is suggesting (sometimes you would be suprised. Once we found before a meeting that one of our prospects had bought its major competitor 3 months ago. Very useful to know) and then spend a few minutes on his/her LinkedIn profile checking out the experience and work history (past and current). That will give you more insights in terms of who that person is connected with as well. You may also find that through the latest Twitter updates he/she mentioned something worth knowing.
Location: If the meeting is off site and you have a smart phone simply set the address you’re going to in the mapping application to check how far you are and where exactly this place is. Otherwise, you can simply go to maps.google.com and create a route.
If it’s not a secret meeting, go ahead and check-in with Foursquare and Facebook Places. There are possible networking opportunities. Right now I’m tracking keywords of areas close to our London office. If I find a profile interesting I send them a tweet asking them if they’d like to grab a coffee the next time around. Here’s how:
Follow up: It helps a lot to take the lead and send follow-up action points. Even if the action is to meet next year.
You can also send a neat and suprising YouTube video message if you would like to impress that person. Works very well, trust me.
The email: this message should be as short as possible, otherwise no one will read it.
Your emails should always be branded and provide useful information. For this reason, we have installed in our Chrome and Firefox browsers, wisestamp.com. This way every person that receives your emails will also count with clear contact information, social networks where to learn more about you and your company and also your latest blog post! I found that one very interesting. Have a look:
Finally: Connect and stay in touch!
What else can you add to the “before & after” the meeting?