“You have 10 seconds, go!”
Being the president of a well-known PR agency, past president of IABC/Toronto and someone who speaks fairly regularly to schools and other organizations, I get a lot of meeting requests. I’m happy to meet with people and be helpful, but like all of us, time is precious, and the first thing I ask someone who wants to meet is, “what is it you think I can do for you?”
This may sound a bit harsh, but the reality is that I need to know if I’m the right person for them to be speaking to. If you are meeting with me to find out what it’s like to work client-side or the “real life” of a coordinator, then I’m not your girl. I know one of my fabulous coordinators would be more than happy to give you the tell-all.
In order to make your meetings more effective with me or anyone in our industry here are some tips:
You have 10 seconds
Experts say that you have between 10-20 seconds to make a good first impression. How you present yourself is key. Every meeting is an interview. Even if you are not here for an interview!
Don’t make me work
Of course I’m happy to meet you, but I’m not going to spend an hour having coffee chit chat with you.
Reiterate why you are here and what I can do for you right at the start of our meeting.
As I said before, you are making an impression, so leave me with the one you want me to have. Also, all the people in my office who see you or interact with you on that day will make an impression as well. In other words, lose the flip flops.
Shake hands and make eye contact
Now is not the time to be shy.
Bring supplies & a resume
You need to bring pen/paper, it’s not my job to supply it if you decide you are going to take notes. As well, if you want me to look or pass along your resume, then please bring a copy.
The clock starts the minute you walk through the door
I’m on a schedule, so it is important that you show up on time and respect that I have other meetings waiting after yours. Even if this is an informal meeting, it still needs to run on time.
Your time is as valuable as mine, so make sure we both use it wisely.
Linda Andross is the President of APEX Public Relations. Follow her on Twitter.
Photo by Damemusic/Flickr