A lot of us meet important people, and we have anxiety because we don’t know how to behave, whether it’s in person, Zoom at a conference, or in a group meeting.
We’re going to cover a few key tips on how you can grow your authority and avoid common mistakes that we see people make that jeopardize relationships.
1. In a meeting, put your phone away.
When you’re aroundimportant people, pulling your phone out shows where your attention is. And when you’re in the room with important people, you want to show them that they have not only your full attention, but that’s where your thought process is.
Demonstrating that everything you have is focused on them helps put them on a pedestal and shows they’re important to you.
2. Take notes using an actual notepad or paper.
A common issue is young adults who take notes on their phone, which may look like they’re surfing social media. Recently, we were at Marshall Silver’s beach house.
Marshall has sold half a billion dollars’ worth of services from the stage, and we were negotiating an equity deal between his company, us, and a software company. Instead of pulling out our phones, we took notes for follow-up that we then distributed to our other partners.
Also by taking notes, there is a different level of thought that goes into it because when you’re on your phone, there are many different distractions that can come up. By taking notes, your full thought process is focused on the point at hand.
3. Show up to these meetings on time.
Last month, we were with Brad Lee, the CEO of Lightspeed, to discuss some courses that we were rolling out, and we got to his location 10 minutes early.
For us, on time is late. If he’s waiting for us in the conference room, then he has the upper position, and we lose negotiating leverage.
It’s also a matter of respect. By showing up late, you’re saying your time is worth more than theirs.
To someone important or someone of value to you, the last thing you want to do is essentially say, I am more important than you.
4. Bring a gift.
Most people think that gifts are only for client situations, especially for a birthday or for a holiday, but we like to bring a gift whenever possible, because it shows that we care.
Recently, we were teaching a franchise meeting for the Black Diamond Club and the specific franchisees of chiropractors, and we brought both magic berries that changed flavor and socks with people’s faces on them.
This showed that we thought about our meeting in advance, and showed them an extra level of care.
This not only shows that you’re putting thought into how you’re going to approach the meeting, but that you went out of your way to find the time to think of a gift, get the gift, and bring it there, which shows who you are as a person.
For extra thoughtfulness, we also like to order things on Amazon Prime or to listen during a meeting, because someone may say, for instance, they really like a particular book. If so, we’ll order that book so that we can read it.
With Shawn Dill, he mentioned that he had a theater, and he liked the popcorn machine that I had. I immediately ordered a popcorn machine for him, which he then put on social media and told everyone that he thought we were the best gift-givers out there.
5. Make sure that you follow up immediately after the meeting.
It’s super easy to forget about what you talked about in the meeting and the specifics.
Again, this is why it’s so important to write these things down so that as soon as that meeting is over – while it’s still fresh on your mind – you’re able to gather your thoughts, and put together a comprehensive list of next action steps so that everyone is clear on what needs to happen.
Then send them an email or a follow-up of some sort clarifying what you talked about, what the next action steps are, and who’s responsible for what.
Even if it isn’t a formal business meeting where there’s not a deal or a client relationship on the line, it’s important to acknowledge how important the relationship is to you.
My favorite tip is to make a 15-second video that you send in a text or in Messenger saying how much you appreciate them and echoing back specifics of what they mentioned, so they know that you are practicing active listening.
6. Practice active listening in your conversations.
Active listening is essentially repeating back what someone has already said to you, but in your own words, showing that you understand what they’re saying.
By doing this, you show that not only are you listening to what they’re saying, but you’re comprehending what they’re saying and putting thought into it.
A lot of times this is super important for someone to realize that you’re going out of your way, putting your time, effort and brain power into understanding, and trying to truly understand what they’re saying. And it helps to build the relationship.
All of these steps help to clearly demonstrate that you value the relationship over the mechanics of the business deal.
Of course, you arrive at the meeting on time, take notes on paper, follow up, and show that you have a team around you that allows you to operate friction-free.
But behind these principles is the fact that you’re demonstrating you care about long-term relationships. Their time is important, and you’re honoring their time with all the actions that you take.
Those six different steps help to create one large successful relationship. Each of these little things adds up into a much larger puzzle. That is the relationship.
We hope you’ll apply these next time you’re meeting somebody important, and you’re able to get that deal, get that client, and get that partner to be able to build your authority. We want to hear your feedback.
One final story of someone who puts all of these principles into practice is Tristan Parmley. Recently I witnessed him negotiate an equity deal with Shawn Dill of the Black Diamond Club.
He practiced all of these points and negotiated a $200,000 investment, capping it off by demonstrating that what he cared about was the mission and long-term relationship over making a profit in the short term.
You’ll find that when you vocalize these values, you will attract the right kinds of partners who want to do great things with you and become your advocates.