Several years ago, a client invited me to sit in on a meeting with the competition.  I gladly accepted.  They had a piece of my client's business.  Before the meeting, I recommended that my client keep that part of the business with the competition because it was the right thing to do.

The two individuals from the competition, each with nearly twenty years of selling experience, started the meeting without any clear direction.  Between the two, neither was ready to begin the meeting properly.  After an amusing five minutes, I took control of the meeting by using an agenda and never looked back.

The topics on the agenda included:
          -  Purpose of the meeting
          -  Review of current conditions
          -  Review of goals given current environment
          -  Opportunities available given any new information
          -  Challenges and risks
          -  Other Topics
          -  Actions based on the conversation

Be professional, plan your next meeting with the use of an agenda.  Your professionalism will be noticed by your client.  At the conclusion of the meeting, on the way out the door, my client reaffirmed her loyalty and commitment to me as a result of the experience.

"Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory."
-Gen. George S. Patton

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