In this brief Page, we want to share with you some of the best and worst behaviors we have seen during our professional career.
We have attended hundreds of Business Meetings.
- Here, we want to give you some Tips about what to do and what not to do.
You would never imagine how important the first impression is.
At Venture Capital Business, you have to judge dozens of projects each week, so you rarely have a second meeting if the first one went horribly wrong.
What to do and what not to do at a Business Meeting
- Listen to everybody.
- Don’t interrupt.
- Use the information you all are talking about.
- Try to find common interests.
- Be cold as ice but inquisitive as a judge.
We could have listed a hundred points more, but you wouldn’t remember one at all.
We prefer to highlight the top 5 most important behaviors we’ve observed so you can, at least remember 2 or 3 from them.
1. Listen to everybody
The higher your position the more difficult it tends to be.
However, you never know if the person in front of you may say something useful, not just for this meeting but for other project.
Some of the best projects we have developed started as simple conversations while talking about other projects.
Be always receptive.
2. Don't interrupt
Trust us: we always get a much better first impression when assessing a project if the person in front of us is not trying to show us how much he/she knows about everything.
Following the previous advice, don’t assume to be the most intelligent person in the world: maybe you can learn something from the People surrounding you.
You’ll look more intelligent if you first listen carefully to what everybody say, and then you make your point.
3. Use the information you all are talking about
Usually, at a Business Meeting, both parties arrive with previously fixed “positions”.
Once the negotiation begins, it is common that everybody stick to the “guideline” they already had, not even listening to what the other party is saying.
After having listened to the other party (points 1 and 2) try using the information they shared with you in order to:
- Show that you understand their position.
- Link their main worries with some of your interests.
You’ll also demonstrate that you are a receptive person, what everybody finds desirable; they will share more information with you, sometimes more than they should.
4. Try to find common interests
You don’t need to be in a formal negotiation in order to find common interests.
Your colleagues, bosses, partners… won’t even listen at you if you are talking about something they don’t find useful for them.
And, if you are in the middle of a negotiation, remember that a good negotiation always end up with both parties “reasonably unsatisfied”, so you have a good reason for being interested in what the other party wants.
- Check our “How to negotiate” Page.
5. Be cold as ice but inquisitive as a judge
So far, we have told you to be receptive, a good listener, and care about the other’s interests.
That doesn’t mean being agreeable and say yes to everything, of course not.
You have to be cold as ice: be interested in other’s interests, what they say…
But you always have to remember your priorities.
If you have to say no, don’t hesitate.
A Business meeting is not and should never be regarded as a “family” meeting.
You are there to achieve your goals, and you’d never achieve them if you don’t think about the other party’s interests nor in your owns.
If you think about other’s interests, you can also demand that they also think about yours.
What if you feel that they are taking advantage from you?
Don’t feel bad about it.
Being honest means also that.
But, you have to give objective data that support what you “feel”.