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Should you depute an army of your executives to attend meetings with clients or prospects?

Client and prospect meetings can be of many types. There can be meetings with a single client or prospect. There can be meetings with a group of clients or prospects. There can be strategy meetings, negotiation meetings, or just regular update meetings. Some of them can be face-to-face meetings, while others can be over video or audio. Whatever the type of client or prospect meeting, you’d want it to be a success. So, you must carefully choose who from among your employees and how many of them should attend a client or prospect meeting. Doing so will ensure the efficient and effective use of human resources.

You won’t want a situation where ‘too many cooks spoil the broth,’ and would select only those employees whose presence is not only relevant but also very much essential for the successful conduct of the meeting. And if you really want a delicate balance between the success of a meeting and operational productivity, you’d pare down the number of employees who attend the meeting to a bare minimum. This will increase the chances of success of that client/prospect meeting and reduce the loss of work hours. Given the above, you should not depute five or more managers to attend such meetings when sparing one or two would suffice.

So, how do you decide who should attend a client or prospect meeting and remove those who shouldn’t from the list? First, remove those who do not have any concrete reason to be there. Then zero down on those who may be relevant, but the meeting can still achieve the desired results without them. Furthermore, remove anyone with behavioral issues that can reduce the chances of success of a client or prospect meeting. New hires are good to avoid at meetings with clients and prospects unless they are monitored and mentored by a senior executive. 

Do not send disengaged people to such meetings who will not fully participate because disengagement is infectious and can adversely affect the clients or discourage the prospects. Be sure to send those who can understand client instructions properly and share them without embellishment or loss of meaning to the company. Last but not least, always keep the number of employees at a client or prospect meeting low unless absolutely necessary. Always care for your clients and prospects, and never overwhelm them.

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