Aha Handbook

External Meetings

You represent the company.
1. Be punctual
  • Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable

2. Role play in preparation to practice communication 

3. Be quick to assess external participant 

  • The sooner you are able to assess external participants’ attitude and objectives, the sooner you are able to identify gaps between your goals and their ability to deliver

4. Drive meetings and stay ahead

  • Drive towards your goal: our objective is to maintain control, lead, and drive 

  • Tell them exactly what they need to do to accomplish a task 

  • Agree on the necessary next steps during meetings 

5. Stay three steps ahead of your audience

  • Anticipate all questions your audience may have.
  • If caught unprepared, it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak 
out and remove all doubt 

6. Follow up after external meetings

  • Send summary of conversation covered and results/next steps to confirm what was discussed/agreed upon 

  • This is also a Thank You note — always follow up with a Thank You email 

7. Relationship Management

  • Think through two things that matter most to an external participant:
    • What will get him/her promoted: highlight and address these items 

    • What will get him/her fired: address and mitigate 

8. Contract Management 

  • Ambiguity in contracts can be good if you are the one with the checkbook — if you have the checkbook, you have the leverage