Hidden Agenda

Last Updated Apr 8, 2008 7:31 PM EDT

I recently worked with a client who told me of a disappointing meeting she'd had with a cosultant who she was planning to use on a project. This consultant has a high degree of expertise in an area in which my client was lacking.

A meeting was set-up to begin exploration of a working arrangement. On both sides the set-up was way too casual. My client didn't make it clear exactly what was wanted from the meeting and the other party didn't ask any questions --- he was probably just grateful to be invited in!

The result was a clumsy meeting that only really got started when their time ran out.

My client left feeling that her time hadn't been utilised well, and she was certainly left feeling less than confident in the other guy's ability to manage the project she had in mind.

As she said to me, "Hey, if this person can't manage a meeting properly, what chance does the project stand?"

Harsh? Maybe so, but isn't it likely our prospective clients think like this?

In my book, anyone involved in a meeting needs to know what the purpose of the meeting is and what outcomes are being sought.

In this instance I think the consultant was a twerp for not asking questions and between you and me, my client could have done a better job too.

It's not like anyone has an excess of time these days!

  • Robert Gerrish

    Robert Gerrish is a coach, author and professional speaker and the founder of Flying Solo (www.flyingsolo.com.au), the Australian online community for solo business owners.