Skip Navigation

The Perfect Meeting Agenda: How Consultants Make Meetings Productive

By Michael Zipursky

Do you ever get nervous before going into a meeting?

Do you ever walk out of a meeting wondering if it ‘went well’ and if your client is happy?

If you want to make your client meetings productive, create an agenda.

Yes, it’s as simple as that.

To make the most of these meetings you should share the goal of the meeting with your client before the meeting.

Consultants who come prepared have productive meetings. Those that don’t, feel like they’re missing something (yes, it’s the agenda, they are missing : )

A meeting agenda is simply a plan of what you want to cover during the meeting to get the most out of it.

There are two main situations you’ll want to use a meeting agenda:

  1. Client meetings
  2. Sales meetings

Let’s start by looking at current client meetings.

To make the most of these meetings you should share the goal of the meeting with your client before the meeting.

When you do this you give the client an opportunity to agree with what you want to cover during the meeting. And if they don’t agree with anything or want to cover other topics they now have the chance to let you know.

This is IMPORTANT because it allows you to align your plan and goals with those of your clients’.

For the agenda structure here is the three-part agenda I recommend:

Part 1:
What have you accomplished? Review with your client what has been accomplished.

Clients love this because it confirms their investment in you is worthwhile. They see real progress.

Part 2:
What are you currently working on? Here you’ll outline where you’re at in the project and what you’re actively working on.

This is where your client will really feel the momentum because you’ve just told them what you’ve accomplished and you’ve now connected it to what are CURRENTLY working on.

Part 3:
What will you work on next? Give your client a taste of the future. What comes next?

This is important to share because the client can get excited about what’s to come and it confirms that continuing to invest with you makes sense. It shows you’re thinking ahead.

With this three-part agenda you cover:

  • PAST

This is an extremely powerful approach to use in all your client meetings.

When you sit down for your meeting give a quick introduction of what you’re going to cover today.

Unproductive meetings are meetings that have no structure.

Ask your client, “Does that sound good to you? Anything else you’d like to cover today?”

You’re taking control of the meeting right from the get-go.

You go in, give the update, talk about each part and that’s it – mission accomplished.

Unproductive meetings are meetings that have no structure.

Where everyone goes off on tangents trying to figure out what to really talk about.

With this three-part structure you’ll be in the driver’s seat.

You’ll feel more confident. Your clients’ will see your confidence and will appreciate your thorough update.

We’ve covered client meetings. In an upcoming post I’ll share with you how to use the agenda approach to make the most of your sales meetings, speed up your sales cycle and win more business.

What are your thoughts? What does your usual agenda look like? How do you make your meetings productive? Share in the comments below…

12 thoughts on “The Perfect Meeting Agenda: How Consultants Make Meetings Productive

  1. Simon Bowen says:

    Great article Michael!

    I have been using the past (hindsight), present (insight), future (foresight) model for many years now. It works incredibly well, but I prefer how you have articulated it in terms of accomplishments, momentum, future gain.

    I also find it incredibly powerful (and appreciated by clients) if at the start, I future pace the meeting with purpose – “By the time we’re finished here, what do we expect to have achieved that will make the time investment worthwhile?” We always need to show up as ROI focused consultants, in order to move away from time for money, and move towards money for value/results.

    • Awesome share Simon and glad that you’ve put this to practice in your business!

  2. F Javier Franco Riofrio says:

    Good post, Michael. I like it a lot. I always prepare the main questions for my meetings but your structure will help me. Thanks, F Javier Franco

  3. Yemisi Erinle says:

    I’m grateful for this article, because I love to write all these things before I see a client, but never with a structure before. You’d be surprised the simple things that elude you without guidance!

  4. Rick Allen says:

    I have done this in the past but in a different format, the format you layout will be much more effective. Thank you

  5. Luis Fer TW says:

    Good way to show structured and serious approach to the clients.

  6. I’ve done a lot of unofficial consultations, but I am feeling kinda nervous about this first “official” one I am about to do. I’ve found a few things similar to this article which is making me feel confident in this structure. I can easily do this, I just needed some guidance! Thank you!

Leave a Comment, Join the Conversation!