Would you ever attend a meeting without your notepad?
The most common item anyone brings to a meeting is a notepad. Having your notepad with you at a meeting is almost always expected and at the very least never out of place. Very few of us are fortunate enough to have a hard drive of a memory and we often forget details shortly after a meeting has adjourned. So a notepad is essential, common sense, yeah I know.
What about your database?
Taking your database to a meeting, on the other hand, isn’t a common practice. But it should be. How many times have you taken great notes or gleaned useful insights about a supporter during a meeting and then struggled to remember the full details when you finally got back to your office? For many, reading through your notes the next day (or more realistically several days later) can be like interpreting hieroglyphs. With the advent of mobile technology, we now have the ability to take the office with us. You can enter your notes and action items as their discussed or immediately following your meeting. Doing so will improve the quality of information you keep on your supporters and help you build more meaningful relationships.
Work piling up back at the office?
Yet another important reason to be productive while on the road. Transferring your notes becomes yet another task when you return the office, plus the time spent trying to remember exactly what was discussed.
6 tips to help you go mobile
If you are “going mobile”, here are few things to consider:
- Review Your Notes – Use the time while you’re waiting for the other person(s) to arrive to brush up on the minor details that aren’t always easy to remember. For example, last time John told you that his daughter, Sally, was headed off to Uni and they had just got a new puppy (Spot). During your meeting, ask John how Uni is going for Sally and about Spot. Remembering the little details makes people feel important and creates deeper bonds with your supporters.
- Always Ask Permission – Ask the person(s) you’re meeting with if they are okay with you taking notes on your mobile device. While laptops, tablets and mobile phones aren’t new, their use in meetings still is. You can be perceived as inattentive (ie checking Facebook, email, Twitter, etc.) if you haven’t made your intentions known.
- Be Online (use available WiFi, or setup a personal hotspot) – Make sure you’re connected to your database so the information gets updated immediately.
- Verify Contact Details – If it’s been awhile since you last met with the supporter, quickly ask them if all of their contact details are still correct. You’ll have it up in front of you, making it easy to update.
- Capture the Personalised Details – In advance of the meeting, make sure you have a place setup in your database to capture all of the details about your supporters. This will make entering new details quick and easy during your meetings. Again, capturing the small detail will be helpful for personalising your interactions with the supporter in the future.
- Confirm Your Action Items – Show them that you weren’t browsing photos of your Auntie’s trip to Bali on Facebook, but instead were diligently taking notes. This is a best practice for any meeting or discussion but having your database on hand means you can schedule reminders and affirm that you haven’t missed anything before leaving the meeting.
Best of luck at your next meeting and don’t forget to ask about Spot!