Have you ever found yourself in a scenario where you thought: "I know this task is important, but I'm not quite sure if I'm the one with the authority to handle it? Besides, someone will surely take charge of the situation. I'm just going to sit on the sidelines and see what happens." What was the outcome? If you're like many of us, odds are the task didn't get done at all.
What's the Point?
Simply this: when everyone thinks someone else has ownership of a task, no one takes the initiative - and nothing gets done. And this is where the importance of meeting recaps come into the picture.
When we use the term "meeting recaps," what are we talking about? Well, if you're running an effective meeting, then you're not just dispensing information with no actions attached to it. Instead, there are going to be next steps, owners of tasks, and timelines that must be met.
So a meeting recap is more than a brief summary of the meeting. It should provide clarity on what tasks need to be done, who's going to handle those tasks, and when they need to be finished.
Keep Your Recap Simple
Draw attention to it with a strong subject line, even one that includes the phrase "meeting recap" in it. Don't clutter action items with a lot of unnecessary detail. Bullet point everyone's responsibilities. Use messaging like: "Here's what we agreed on; I/we will follow up in [x] days; if you have any questions, reach out to [x]," and so forth.
What Does a Recap Accomplish?
First of all, a recap ensures that everyone is on the same page. When the client is aligned with your sales team, and everyone is in agreement about next steps, it can take a lot of tension and uncertainty out of the relationship.
In addition, sending a meeting recap demonstrates your commitment to moving the project forward. Think of yourself as a guide. You not only point the client to their preferred destination, but you also help them navigate the path to get there. You're showing that you care, you're organized, you take pride in your work, and you believe in accountability - both for others, and for yourself.
More than anything else, an action-oriented recap shows that you're a professional. And professionals want to work with other professionals. It's that simple.
If you're a sales manager, how can you train your team to send out effective recaps? Consider this option: Conduct a team exercise in which each salesperson submits a sample recap email (perhaps one based on a recent meeting). Review the recaps at your next sales meeting. Let everyone discuss what they liked about each recap, what they would change, and whether it accomplished its purpose. You can use this as an alignment exercise for your team, as well as a valuable training opportunity.
If you know how to compose and distribute meeting recaps, you'll impress your clients, add value to your relationships, and keep everyone involved with a project in alignment. Not bad, right?
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