How to Maximize Your SCORE Meeting

Getting the most out of a meeting is a skill anyone in or wanting to be in business can benefit from. Here are some pointers that not only will help you get the most from your meeting with a group of SCORE counselors but can apply to any meeting you may have. Some are obvious (but often over looked) and some are subtle yet can make or break the benefit you receive from a meeting.

By Jeffery Clack, SCORE Accredited Business Counselor

Getting the most out of a meeting is a skill anyone in or wanting to be in business can benefit from. Here are some pointers that not only will help you get the most from your meeting with a group of SCORE counselors but can apply to any meeting you may have. Some are obvious (but often over looked) and some are subtle yet can make or break the benefit you receive from a meeting.

Before the meeting:

  • Be on time. Know how to get to the location of your meeting, where to park and how long it will take to get there.
  • Think about what you want from the meeting. What is your goal or what do you want to learn. Come prepared with written questions that you need to get answers to.
  • Be prepared to write down ideas and actions to take. If you have a voice-recording device, you might like to use it to gather all the conversation.
  • Bring examples of your marketing materials.
  • Bring your company's financial statements.
  • Identify business areas where you want immediate help: for example sales, marketing, partnership agreement, web site, finances, managing people, dealing with vendors, starting a new business, pricing, or how to survive in a bad economy.

During Your Meeting:

  • Listen carefully. When you talk stay on subject. Don't wander off.
  • Don't just talk to fill the time. Stay focused on what you want to get from the meeting
  • Give feedback if you don't understand what is being said or if it isn't addressing your question.
  • Leave time at the end of a meeting (i.e., 40 minutes into a 1 hour meeting) to review what you have learned and what questions have yet to be answered.

After the Meeting

  • Identify dates to complete your assigned actions.
  • Decide if a follow-up visit would be helpful. If it is to be a SCORE Meeting, you can make your appointment with the Chamber or counselors before you leave.

A meeting with a group of Score counselors is a great opportunity for you to move your business or business plan forward. A little effort before, during and after the session can multiply the benefit you receive many-fold and move your project forward faster.