Picture this. You’re heading to your next meeting. You’ve been back to back in the morning and realised you haven’t done your research for this coming meeting. So you realise with dread that you know near to nothing about the prospects you are just about to meet. The meeting has been arranged 3 weeks ago and, whilst you had done some research back then, it’s all gone by now. Of course it all starts with a conversation but, from experience, you know there is a direct correlation between a productive meeting and how well you have prepared it. Oh, oh…

Never been there? Well, I am impressed. I have to admit, I have. Once. Ok, maybe twice :) . And nothing is more annoying that having put a lot of work into prospecting, getting some progress and not being 100% prepared when meeting the person. To address this problem, I recently came across a tool which is rather useful, even if I am prepared! It’s called Charlie App and can be found here. It simply links with my calendar, pulls the email addresses of those people I have sent (or received) an invite to (or from) and search the social and news sites. In the morning, I receive a research brief. It includes a brief both on the person and on the company, including the competition. And if there are people I meet very often (colleagues, friends, clients, etc…) I can also turn off the briefing notes for them. Nifty.

Apparently the good people at Charlie App claim that we do about 57 Google search when we prepare a meeting. So it’s quite a useful time saving tool. Especially when getting into a meeting with lots of people, it all comes into one single email.

What about you? Any useful tool you would recommend to be well prepared?