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Meeting Follow Up
Many people dread going to meetings and consider them a waste of valuable time. In many cases, they’re right because there is no meeting follow up!
Following up on a meeting ensures that those who attended are on the same page and will do what needs to be done to ensure progress is made. But knowing how to follow up after a meeting isn’t always obvious. Many people wonder what to do after a meeting. A quick word in the hallway can easily be forgotten when others have many projects going at once, so one should use email to follow up after a meeting.
When sending a meeting follow-up email, follow up quickly after the meeting to ensure that those in attendance follow through with their action items. A post-meeting follow up often makes the difference between valuable time wasted and productivity. It’s gratifying to see the meeting’s attendees follow an after meeting action plan that gets everyone on the same page and working toward the same goal. Here are some vital points to consider.
Follow Up on Action Items
The first step toward a productive meeting is realizing that the meeting’s actual work isn’t complete after the meeting. Sure, everyone returns to their projects and scheduled work. Still, if the meeting organizer doesn’t send a follow-up email after the meeting, it is likely that the action items will be forgotten or ignored when other problems and projects appear. Before the meeting, delegate a team member to summarize the decisions made and ensure that all action items are assigned with agreed-upon due dates and take the meeting’s minutes. This ensures that nothing critical is left out or without someone to work the action item. A meeting action items template is useful for this task. The team member, who was delegated to assign the action items and take the meeting’s minutes, will have it available to agree upon and incorporate it into their project management software for shared transparency and accountability.
Meeting Action Items Template
The meeting action items template can look like this:
Item Due Date Assignee
- Action Item 1 1/5/2021 John Smith
- Action Item 2 2/1/2021 Engineering
- Action Item 3 2/1/2021 IT
Follow Up Actions After a Meeting
At the meeting’s end, be sure to state that the next meeting will have a follow up on action items to see their status. This way, everyone at this meeting will know that they must be accountable to get the action items completed or get help before the deadline.
In short, the follow-up actions after a meeting should be:
- Share the meeting’s recap in an email
- Send a meeting follow up email
- Send a schedule and plan for the next meeting (if required)
Share the Meeting’s Recap
So, after the meeting, there should be a meeting follow up email. This email should go to each attendee, invitees who were unable to attend, managers, directors, and other stakeholders affected by this meeting’s decisions. This email should notify others of changes and decisions made in the meeting, which involves them, so the meeting recap email is so important. But how to send the minutes of the meeting email? This is the basic meeting recap template:
- The meeting’s agenda
- List of attendees
- Meeting’s notes/ minutes
- Highlights of decisions
- Action Items, assignees, and deadlines for the action items
- Resources such as reports and other documents which action items and decisions were based on
- Thank you for attendance
Once one has sent this email, the next email should be a true follow up email after a business meeting. This email is crucial to ensure that the action items don’t get forgotten or ignored.
Sending a Meeting Follow Up Email
After the first email, which provides the meeting’s recap, the next step is to send out a follow-up email. This follow up email is critical because it reiterates what needs to be done. Its purpose is to get to the point.
This email should do the following:
- Thank the attendees for their participation
- Briefly recap the meeting
- List the action points from the meeting and their due dates
- State any required next steps
- Provide a follow-up meeting agenda, if applicable
Sample Meeting Follow Up Email
The follow-up email doesn’t have to be complicated. The simpler and shorter the email is, the more likely the recipient will read and understand what they need to do. The writer doesn’t have to have a complex subject line either. The follow-up email after meeting subject line might look like: Thank you for your attendance at our meeting on <date>. Here’s what I need from you.
So, what does a sample thank you letter after a business meeting look like? It will have the five components listed above. Below is a sample follow up email with the components denoted. A polite follow-up email sample might look like:
Subject: Thank you for your attendance at our meeting on 12/1/2020. Here’s what I need from you.
To John Smith, Engineering Lead:
Thank you for attending the meeting on 12/1/2020 about the new company app, where we agreed upon its release for next year. To recap your action items, we need the following:
- App design specs by 3/1/2021.
- Presentation to VP by 4/1/2021.
If you need help with feedback on design, please contact me no later than 2/1/2021. Our next meeting is on 1/5/2021. I’ve enclosed its agenda.
Special Considerations: Following Up After a Board Meeting
Board meetings have special considerations since everyone involved is an executive. In most board meetings, participants tend to have strategic discussions, so each board member will have their own after meeting action plan email stating what they are working on or researching after arriving at a meeting decision. These board meetings follow up emails should also include any further invitations for later meetings to discuss topics brought up at the board meeting requiring further investigations. These new meeting invitations and relevant agendas should be sent out as quickly as possible to progress on the appropriate projects and topics that need more work. These emails should be sent to any appropriate person who can provide the required information and resources necessary to continue to make progress on specific projects.
Special Considerations: Client Meeting Follow Up
When meeting with a client or a potential client, sales leaders should always plan on email meeting follow-ups. Businesses that follow up with clients are often ranked as having excellent customer service and high customer satisfaction. Clients are usually impressed when the salesperson provides a recap of the meeting, their meeting notes, and a summary of any action items. Simultaneously, the salesperson should include something value-added to the email, such as a relevant case study, an eBook, or other resources that the client will find useful. The salesperson should also extend an invitation to keep the dialogue going with a suggestion that either client should call them, or they will offer to call the client to help them decide if the product or service is right for them.
What the Meeting Follow Up Email Should Contain for Clients and Customers
It is always a good idea to send a client or customer a follow-up email after the meeting. Be sure to send it as soon as possible to keep the company relevant in the customer’s mind. The follow-up sales meeting email should contain these components:
- Thank the customer/client for their time and consideration
- Express enthusiasm over the relationship/potential relationship
- Provide the meeting notes
- Provide any action items and relevant dates for when the client’s requests will be addressed
- Add the value-added material as part of the attachments
- Suggest a follow-up meeting or phone call at a later date
Sample Meeting Follow Up Email for Sales Personnel to Clients and Customers
The sales follow up email may sound more complicated than the standard meeting follow up emails, but it does not have to be. Instead, consider the following sample email along with its six components:
Subject: It was great meeting you! I’ve enclosed an eBook. I think you’ll find it useful.
To John Smith, Engineering Lead:
Thank you for meeting with me on 12/1/2020 to discuss our new software product, XXX, which I’m sure will help speed up your servers. I know you’ll be delighted with the results, and I look forward to giving you a demonstration of how our product works. I’ve provided my meeting notes so we can make sure we’re all on the same page. You’ve asked me the following questions about our product, and I should be able to answer them by the dates shown:
- Costs for legacy upgrades 12/7/2020.
- Costs for customization 12/14/2020.
I expect to get the answers no later than those dates and possibly sooner once our lead engineer sees the architecture layout. In the meantime, I’ve enclosed our eBook on how XXX works with legacy hardware and how our engineers can meet your needs with agility. Since you’re interested in how our software works with legacy systems, would you like to schedule a demo where I can show you how fast XXX runs on platforms similar to yours? I’ll give you a call in the next few days, and we can set up a time.