Leading Effective Meetings | SuccessCOACHING (2023)

CSM Mastermind #45 Transcript: Leading Effective Meetings

Everyone has had experience with a bad meeting. Maybe it started late, the agenda was unclear, or perhaps there was no one actually in charge of leading the meeting to begin with. The end result is a group of frustrated or unhappy people who probably don’t accomplish much. It could leave a bad impression or cause the participants to hesitate to attend the next meeting, both of which you want to avoid.

The key to effective meetings is to have a plan. Beyond having a clear plan, many other elements contribute to an effective meeting that results in productivity.

During this live online event, we asked three Customer Success pros to share advice for leading effective meetings.

In this CSM Mastermind session, our panel of Customer Success pros discussed:

  • Important elements of an effective meeting

  • What you should focus on before, during, and after the meeting in order to ensure success

  • Why setting an agenda is important

  • How to establish ground rules and roles for meeting participants

  • Your responsibilities as the meeting’s leader

  • Positive or negative experiences with leading meetings

Host Andrew Marks was joined by the following Customer Success pros:

Top Takeaways:

  1. Clearly spell out the purpose of the meeting. Before setting a meeting, clarify what you are trying to accomplish. Understand your goal, who is necessary to help you achieve that goal, and what you have to prepare to achieve that goal.

  2. Everyone at the meeting needs to be prepared. It's the responsibility of the host to ensure that all of the participants are ready. The host needs to share the agenda, the topics, and the expected outcomes, as well as the actions, and the follow-ups.

  3. Make sure the right attendees are at the meeting. Don't invite people that don't need to be there. Invite only the people who will contribute and add value to your meeting. For everyone else, circulate the outcomes with them after the fact. Empower your invitees to delegate to the right person.

  4. Increase engagement by inviting attendees to have input prior to the meeting. Share a draft agenda and ask key attendees if there is anything else they want to add. This also gives attendees ample time to prepare in order to add value.

  5. Use time as the finite resource that it is. Allocate specific time amounts to particular agenda items and revisit topics that go over that time. When appropriate, allow time at the end of meetings for topics that aren’t part of the core objective of the meeting. When possible, invite people to only sections of longer sessions that pertain to them.

  6. Create a culture of effective meetings by leading by example. If you host well-run, productive meetings, others can learn from you. And if you decline meetings that aren’t a good use of time, others will feel empowered to do the same, leading to a culture where meetings are more effective.

Session Replay

Session Transcript

NOTE: The following transcript has been edited for clarity and content where necessary to improve readability.

Andrew Marks: Welcome everybody to our first CSM Mastermind of 2023. I'm Andrew Marks, co-founder of SuccessHACKER and our success coaching training program. And we're back for our monthly live webcast today talking about leading effective meetings. This free learning event is brought to you by SuccessCOACHING, the global leader in Customer Success professional development training now with nearly 22,000 students globally on our skills development platform. Our training programs are available in a variety of formats from self-paced online learning to virtual instructor-led bootcamps.

Now after four years and a global pandemic, we are finally at a point where we need to raise our prices, effective February 1st. So this is your last chance to get our 2022 pricing across the board. We are also running a special through February 10th, our 12-week executive education program offered in conjunction with the University of San Francisco. This is 12 weeks of classes and coaching cohorts led by myself. So you could spend 12 weeks with me, not just an hour here once a month. Ashli's going to drop a link to our program page and a coupon code in chat.

We're also always looking for panelists to join us for the upcoming Mastermind session, so if you're interested in participating and have something to say, Ashli's going to drop a link to a survey so that we can capture the topics that you're interested in. Our participants clearly have a lot of fun, both Lindsay and Krista, are return guests. So find out more and we'll find out more about you and if you got something to say, we're looking forward to have you on the program. And find out more about our online learning and instructor-led programs and workshops at successcoaching.co.

This CSM Mastermind Series is a live and unscripted discussion where we dig into a single topic that is relevant to Customer Success. Regardless of the company that you work for, the scope of your role, or the sizes of the customers that you deal with, we aim to pick topics that are going to be practical and useful to you. The schedule for our upcoming events can also be found at successcoaching.co. Click on the events tab at the top of the page to find out more.

A few housekeeping items before we get started. This webinar is recorded and we'll be posting a replay along with the transcription on our website early next week. We will be taking questions later on during the webinar, so please don't be shy and use the Q&A button that's found at the bottom of your screen to either ask or up-vote a question. We are also broadcasting on LinkedIn live and have Santana monitoring that feed. Thank you, Santana. So if you have questions and you're watching on LinkedIn, please post them and they will be relayed to us. Also, we love getting feedback during the event, but we ask that you keep all commentary to the chat window. Commentary to chat; questions under the Q&A.

Now, there's a lot of thought leadership out there along with a lot of theories about how to deliver customer success. In this series, we focus on the practical, real world advice, best practices, techniques and shared experiences from those that are practicing Customer Success on a daily basis. And to do that we invite three panelists to join me for a round table discussion. These are people who are great at their craft and we ask them to share their experiences and their perspectives. So without further ado, I'd like our panelists to introduce themselves to y'all, talk a bit about who they are and what they do and let's get started as usual in alphabetical order with Krista.

Krista Roberts: Hey everyone, thanks again for having me, Andrew. I'm super excited to be on this live discussion today and I'm excited to chat with Lindsay and Mohammed. So I'm Krista Roberts. I'm a Senior Customer Success Manager with ClientSuccess. For those of you that aren't familiar with ClientSuccess, we are a Customer Success software that drives customer retention growth across your entire company and we work very closely with Andrew and the team at the SuccessCOACHING. As mentioned at the top of the call. I've been at CSM for or in the CS world for over 10 years. A lot of different roles, lots of experience to bring to the table and obviously in that role I'm in lots of meetings all day every day. So excited to talk more about this topic and learn from the panel here.

Lindsey Eatough: You're on mute Andrew, but I think that means I'm next.

Andrew Marks: No, no, sorry, my bad. Sorry... So anyways, thank you, Krista. And yes, once again we are huge fans of the team over at ClientSuccess. We've been friends with Dave, the CEO, Dave Blake for many years and they're just really great people, great people to partner up with and as we were mentioning at the top, we have been the platinum sponsor for the CS100 event now for a few years and we will continue to be as long as we're they invite us back. We keep getting invites, so we've been good. Thanks. Thanks again, Krista. Lindsay, yes, now you are up.

Lindsey Eatough: Well thank you and just a giant thank you for Andrew for being willing to bring me back to another CSM Mastermind. My name's Lindsay Eatough. I, as many of you can tell from my multiple times saying it, I'm from New Jersey and I live here now. I am so excited to be on this topic for a handful of different reasons, but one because I previously come from a company called Mural in the digital visual collaboration space where for almost five years I spoke to people about how do you work in a digital visual way to drive collaboration but also run effective meetings. And I helped to found the Customer Success team there.

Parlay that into my current role, I'm the VP of Customer Experience for Isometric Technologies, an early stage company in the logistics performance space. So we do score carding for shippers with their carriers to understand and lower the deductions in between the two companies, which is actually a lot of money going back and forth between the companies, so it really helps both sides of the fence. So again, in the role I'm in now, meetings are happening a lot cross functionally. So that is a component for Customer Success and Customer Experience as well. So I'm looking forward to talking about all things effective and ineffective meetings today with this group. Thank you.

Andrew Marks: Thanks Lindsay. And always of course, yes. Definitely one of the many reasons why I wanted you to be part of this panel was your experience at Mural, but you also always have something to share.

Lindsey Eatough: Ah.

Andrew Marks: That's always a good thing and I can always call on you if the conversation starts to taper off. Lindsay, what do you think? That's the Jersey girl in you coming out, right?

Lindsey Eatough: Exactly. That's what we do.

Andrew Marks: I need a Jersey opinion. Awesome, thanks Lindsay. And finally, last but not least, joining us from halfway around the world, at least from us, Mohammed.

Mohammed Alqaq: Thank you, Andrew. Yeah, hello everyone. Andrew, thank you very much for having me, it's a pleasure to be with the group and to be with you live today. For me, it's a great opportunity to connect east to west by having somebody from the Middle East participate and being part of your webinars. It's an honor to be here. So my name is Mohamed Alqaq, I'm based in Jordan. I'm a Customer Success Manager with CSS for Crucial Solution and Services, a specialized company in data process analytics and analytics software.

The company is based in Saudi and I'm based in Jordan as I mentioned. I'm also the founder of Customer Success Middle East, which is an initiative and community I've started last year trying to close the gap between the Customer Success practice in Europe and in the states and the Customer Success practice in the Middle East and trying to connect the dots and making sure that we are approaching and we are following and doing the right thing and following the best practices in the region here and bring the technology and the expert and the knowledge from over around all around the world to the Middle East.

Andrew Marks: Awesome. Mohammed, thank you again and we really appreciate you being part of this and making time for us. I know it's very late for you, but I think it's great that you are trying to build that bridge and we definitely want to support you and people all over the world that are in this space and we know that there are challenges sometimes. Sometimes the way we do things very different. Even sometimes the way we do things here in the states can be very different than the way things are done in Europe, the way things are done in the Middle East and APAC. So when stuff doesn't seem to translate, let's have a conversation and talk through it and do what we do with our coaching cohorts. I've had lots of people from the Middle East and APAC and Europe join our coaching programs and we always seem to be able to connect the dots somehow and this is the first step of us creating that bridge. So yeah, great to have you, and glad you can make the time for us.

Mohammed Alqaq: Thank you. It's my pleasure.

Andrew Marks: Once again and I appreciate everybody's time. I appreciate your time on Monday for doing when we did our prep as well as the time today and I'm sure everybody on the call also appreciates it. So let's get to the topic at hand. Unproductive meetings cost companies more than 37 billion dollars annually. Almost 37% of employee time is spent in meetings and 91% of those employees admit to daydreaming during meetings. So unproductive meetings lead to work productivity loss and employee disengagement. They also lead to lower morale among employees. Long term, this can result in workplace conflict, a decline in innovation, increased employee turnover, and worse yet, longer sales cycles due to a lack of understanding about customer journeys, customers needs and wants, details about your products or services, et cetera.

Now time, I've said this many times, time is a finite resource and especially when it comes to anyone in a customer-facing role, it's critical that you're spending your time in the most effective and efficient ways possible to support your book of business. The thing that you want to be doing is wasting time in unproductive meetings. So to get started, what I'd like to do is get some thoughts from my guests on what makes meetings ineffective? Who wants to start?

Lindsey Eatough: And Andrew, you probably saw me immediately on mute in true Lindsay fashion. So how did meetings become ineffective? And we have sympathy jumping into a chat, no agenda, there's a general lack of preparedness and I know that Mohammed, we were touching it on that when we were prepping, I used the very layman's terms of the wing-it. There's a wing-it culture that you'd see happen in person, but when you did that, when meetings were all in person, there was a board, there was a thing you could interact with people so you can make it more productive because you can do things, you can use physical objects or whatnot. You can kind of form the agenda as you go. In the virtual environment it is harder, but then somehow there's more meetings, therefore the unprepared cycle is more because then you definitely don't have time to prepare for the next thing unless you consciously make a decision to really evaluate. So non-preparedness would be I think one of the biggest first things to talk about.

Andrew Marks: Okay, Mohammed, anything to add to that?

Mohammed Alqaq: Yeah, I may add that in addition to the preparation and I think the poor communication is one of the key elements to an effective meetings and lack of follow-ups. As preparation and planning is important, the follow-up is as important as planning because the follow-up is the step for your next meeting planning. If you don't have a proper follow-up, then your next meeting will not be effective.

Andrew Marks: Okay. What was that?

Lindsey Eatough: Before, during and the after. You're actually thinking about the intention, right? I think that that's what encompasses a bit what you're saying, Mohammed and agenda going on in the chat and everybody chatting and Krista getting some shout-outs in there already.

Krista Roberts: Yeah, no, I think yeah, playing off of not being prepared. The agenda and follow up I think are key. But I think too, pairing with that follow up, especially in our roles and Customer Success and working with customers maybe through onboarding or implementation or different projects or on recurring meeting cadences, making sure that there's in between work because it's like we could be prepared, we maybe did follow up, but then have we double-checked with our customer or those that are invited to the meeting? Have we all done what we need to do to actually have a productive meeting? So I think there's that piece too.

It's like maybe I'm prepared, I have an agenda, I'm like this is what we need to talk about. But then I get on the call with the customer and they're like, oh, I haven't done anything, I don't have anything. So that hey, we're meeting tomorrow, let's talk about this. And like, oh hey actually I need another week. Okay, fine. So I think there's that in between of you can be prepared but maybe everyone being prepared. So not just the host of the meeting, but all attendees. So I think it's a nice way to encompass all that together.

Andrew Marks: But I think sure that everybody shows up ready to make the meeting productive.

Krista Roberts: Exactly.

Mohammed Alqaq: And I think I agree with Krista, but I think it's the responsibility of the host to make all the participant ready or prepared because he needs to make sure that he's sharing the agenda, the topics and the expected outcomes, the actions, the follow-ups. So he needs to prepare the audience or the participant in order to make everybody ready. Also, one of the comments here that they said wrong attendees, and I've seen this a lot. People they send invite, meeting invites to everyone and this is a recipe of a failure. Don't invite people that they don't need to be there. They might need to be aware of what are the outcomes of the meeting, but they are not part of the discussion, so don't invite them. Invite only the people who are really contributing to your meeting and adding value to your meeting. The rest of the people you just share or circulate the outcomes with them after the fact, after the meeting.

Lindsey Eatough: There's the clarity of communication of that too because sometimes there's the wrong attendees piece, but there is not always, if you are a wrong attendee, say it and put the right person in. You know what I mean? There's so many unspoken things that if you add, and I know Andrew I'm switching to tactics, but there's the wrong attendees, there's too many attendees, but there is also a lack of mechanism to figure out who are the right people to be there and how do you get them? And proactively I think to what you were just saying, Mohammed, the host is the owner of the intention and has that responsibility but also the responsibility of making it very clear if you're not the one, go get the person. And even explicitly giving instructions like that, that's not something that's a norm that everybody does, but could mitigate for some of those issues that then happened down the line.

Andrew Marks: Well I think there's a responsibility of the person who's coordinating the meeting to make sure the right people are attending. But I mean we need to back up a bit and we can start talking about the tactics. In order for you to help people understand who should attend the meeting, we got to put in place exactly what the meeting is there for and go and it goes beyond an agenda. They're throwing an agenda into a meeting invite and sending it out to the world isn't good enough. What's the purpose? What is the purpose of the meeting? So it's not just the agenda, it's clearly spelling out what the purpose is. Right? And is it just as simple as here's what this meeting is for? I think it goes personally, I think it goes beyond what you put in the title for the meeting.

Mohammed Alqaq: Yeah, I think starting with clarifying what you are trying to accomplish and if that is something you can only accomplish by a meeting and then you start to think of the agenda. But before preparing the agenda and think of who need to be invited, I need to think of okay, what do I need to accomplish? What is my goal and what I have to prepare in order to achieve that goal? And then this only can be done by a meeting, then okay, let's do a meeting. So who needs to be in that meeting and if I start to connect those dots, then I will come up with an agenda that is relevant and related to the list of accomplishments that I have listed or prepared and then I know who I need to invite to that meeting.

Krista Roberts: Yeah. I think knowing, again, going before the agenda is, what is that objective and that goal? So every meeting should have an objective, what are we looking to accomplish during this conversation, and what are those key points that are going to help us guide that conversation? Which would be the agenda if the objective is really straight and sweet and simple to the point. Probably could be an email or probably maybe a quick phone call with one person. But if you're having trouble coming up with I think more than one, I mean because you really need to have that objective, what is that goal, and then what are those agenda topics from there? So I think that's the thing too. Yeah, I think of what is my objective here? Could I get a quick answer on an email, probably. So we don't need to have the meeting and then maybe there's that back and forth and then we all know after what three emails or whatever it is, let's schedule a meeting because clearly we have some confusion here.

Lindsey Eatough: Just to not pile onto that one, but also maybe kind of tie into answering a couple of questions in the Q&A to that is that if you don't have conviction about what that objective is, there is no harm in asking if it's the right thing. And I think that that's what we're all getting to is just ask, ask the other participants. Then there's also shared ownership of I'm really agreeing to doing this meeting and that helps especially from the CS perspective, the buy-in from the customer to want to achieve whatever you're working on within the journey.

In terms of sticking to that agenda, we can talk about that in a moment Fred, but I think this part of the conversation ties a little bit to where do you keep it. I know it's a little bit tactic Andrew, but since we are so talking about the agenda piece right now, I figure it'd be worth rounding it out a little bit. I'm going to give a little bit of a consulting answer, but it depends. Everything should be linked out of the meeting invite. My personal opinion, the high-level agenda should be in the invite itself.

If it's complex, there should be some sort of document shared or if it's in an email, but a document's nice because you can put a link for a document into the invite and then have everybody collaborate on it or plug to Mural, et cetera. You can also, what I used to do with customers for ongoing meetings, I had a mural that was just, it was a wall of a room for us and every time we met together they would just put stickies in there for the next meeting. So that's where we put our thoughts. They were not always linear because it was a recurring meeting. So the agenda was loose-ish, it was more of a standup with the customer. But I think always having the high level in the invite and then linking out to where you have a high level with the objective of course and then linking out to the deeper document where you might also want people, like what Krista is saying, be prepared, do the pre-work. Now they can put their pre-work in there as well to help consolidate and collaborate.

Andrew Marks: So I think it's important though, back to Mohammed, back to what you said. First question is do we really need to have this meeting? And I think there was a lot of, especially over the last few years, I think people over-indexed on having meetings because of COVID. We're not meeting and we're not seeing each other in the office and we need meeting, meeting, meeting, meeting and it created meeting fatigue and then with not just email, but the advent of communications platforms like Slack makes it a lot easier to get information without having to pull everybody into a meeting.

But it's not just the responsibility of I think the person who is putting together the meeting to decide whether this really needs to be a meeting. I also think that there should be some responsibility on the part of the people who have been asked to attend, do I really need to be at this meeting? The only person who is in control of your calendar is you, right? And don't make getting invited to meetings an excuse for you to be having to work a 60, 80 hour week.

So what do you ask yourself when you get invited to a meeting? Whether it's got a great agenda and a clear purpose or not, is there anything that you say to yourself before you accept it?

Lindsey Eatough: Do I have to go? Go ahead Mohammed. I've been starting to ask myself that every day.

Mohammed Alqaq: Sorry, the first question I ask is what's in it for me?

Andrew Marks: The WIIFM! What's in it for me? Exactly.

Mohammed Alqaq: Yeah. And based on the answer, either I will accept or I will reject it.

Lindsey Eatough: To elaborate on my, do I have to go? It's more WIIFM Mohammed you're saying what's the WIIFM for me? But it's also what's the win for that? Am I the right person for it? I was added because of either my role or something, but is this a moment to delegate? Is this a moment to understand something, or should it even be happening, right? Yeah.

Krista Roberts: Yeah. I agree. That's what I look at as I give the invite, hopefully there's an agenda and you know what's going on and it is like, okay, am I going to get something out of this, and if I'm not is I have been asked to attend because I have knowledge that I will be providing to those that are attending or it's that they will get something out of it. So maybe at the end it's not a checklist item for me, but am I that expert? Am I that subject-matter expert? If it's an internal meeting and I'm the CSM that is responsible for that account and my leadership team has an escalation, probably makes sense to invite me so I can shed some light on what's going on with the customer. But if I'm not the CSM managing that account, why would I need to go to that meeting?

There's been a couple things in the chat about internal external. I think that's a big thing is I feel like we do a pretty good job with external with our customers of setting an agenda, making sure things are good, but I feel like a lot of it is that internal, again, we feel like we need to have meetings about everything and we probably really don't. So how can we apply these same tactics and ask these same questions? There are plenty of internal meetings that some weeks I'm like, you know what? It doesn't make sense for me to attend. I have customer priorities, I'm not going to attend. There's nothing that I'm going to get out of it and they probably aren't going to get anything from me. So yeah.

Mohammed Alqaq: There were a lot of those meetings that let's meet to prepare for tomorrow's meeting.

Krista Roberts: Exactly. Who has time for that? Who has time for that?

Andrew Marks: I used to coach my teams and I used to say the exact same things that all three of you said, do you need to present or are you a subject-matter expert? Are you going to add value to it by showing up? Are you going to get something from it by being there in person rather than reading a summary if one's available? And quite frankly, do you have the time, right? Because if you don't, then is it something that we can be decided or can be shared via email?

I had a situation last week and this is on a more personal side about a loan and we are just closing documents, stuff like that. And the lender insisted on scheduling this 30-minute meeting in the middle of my workday to get all of the things go down, what needs to be completed for this loan. And they invited four people on their side to basically give me a list of things that they needed in order to finish closing on the loan. And I was like, you could have sent me this via email. And not only are you wasting my time, there are four people on this call and absolutely no reason why you needed four people on the call, right?

So it's just as important for all of you to assess does it make sense for me to spend my time in this meeting, and do I really have the time to do it, right? Because at the end of the day, when you're in a customer-facing your role, it's in the title, your job is to be customer facing. Your job is to be helping your customer solve problems, extract value, do strict things more strategically and you're not going to be able to do that when you get sucked into all these different meetings.

Lindsey Eatough: Now, three other different points. I'm loving what Sean put into the chat because it's questioning and prioritization. What Sean put about for those in the position where they're leading, lead by example and show that you can do it, which gives permission for the team to do it and do it at my meetings too. You know what I mean? Not everybody's perfect. But once you set that from a culture standpoint too, you can fix things over time, right? Progress over perfection is something I constantly say, especially if you're in an early stage environment.

The other piece is prioritization that I think that we're all keying onto is a lot of meetings start to fester and happen when priorities are not crystal clear of what we need to focus on. Customer success is for retaining, growing, and delighting customers. There's a lot more that we do, but an experiment that I'm doing with our team. We have six H1 priorities and whenever something comes up, I tell them, you have the option to say, does this have to do with one of my H1 priorities? If it doesn't, don't go and say I said not to or bring it up with me or let's talk through it and evaluate it. And also every quarter I do it every month, look at all your recurring meetings because they creep up. You want to have a one-on-one with this person, especially if you're a virtual company. Evaluate anything that's happening on a recurring basis and see if you need it.

Those were just a couple little different tidbits I was getting through the conversation, but lead by example, question everything, and also think about your priorities and if it doesn't line up, you can say maybe later, but 90% of them shouldn't be meetings. If we're all probably looking at our calendar over the last week of things that we attended or did not attend that didn't need to be. It could have just been a written checklist.

Andrew Marks: Maybe you hop in for five minutes and say what you have to say and then leave and reclaim 25 minutes of that half hour that's been blocked out.

Lindsey Eatough: Well, and that ties to what Fred actually asked in the chat of is there any tips around having us stick to an agenda and having meetings go through properly? In an agenda, you can very much so time-box, use your phone, use a timer. I keep doing a lot of plugs from Mural. Mural has a timer built in to it, you can time-box whoever's hosting the meeting you are facilitating. Facilitating can be a little bit of a scary word for people, but time-box and stick to it and early and often say I'm going to time-box because that also then leads to what you're saying, Andrew, if I'm going to time-box my meeting, it's an hour long, not an hour long, but it's an hour-long meeting, there's certain things happening at certain times.

Andrew come for the back half. I do that all the time with when I want cross-functional people to come to my bi-weekly team meeting where I'm mainly just doing some announcements. Could also not be a meeting, but it's a time to get to the team together. But I'll say, hey, do you want to come talk about the product roadmap? Can you come to the back half and we're only going to really need you for 15? So do you want the last 15? Do you want to come in at the 45 and really think about someone else's time. So little tactics too about that.

Andrew Marks: So you got to establish some ground rules. You want to establish some rules.

Lindsey Eatough: Yeah. Always.

Andrew Marks: I mean when somebody throws a meeting, when you're preparing either yourself from a meeting on the calendar or somebody throws a meeting that on the calendar you need to make sure that they've actually thought through this, right? How is this thing going to be structured? What are we going to talk about? I automatically decline any meeting that doesn't have an agenda automatically.

Mohammed Alqaq: And the agenda, it's not only the topics, it needs to be the topic, the time allocated, and expected outcome.

Andrew Marks: Right. What's the point? What's the point? Exactly.

Mohammed Alqaq: And this is important because a participant can get a better understanding what is the objective and what I need to prepare for that meeting. And if there is a time allocated, then when you start the meeting then they know that okay, by this time we will be achieving this and this. And it's no harm to assign someone to be the timekeeper. I always do this, X, you are a timekeeper. I need to focus on the discussion, but I don't want to waste everybody's time talking about only one item of the agenda and leave the rest. So I need somebody to track the time and just stop me that when I see the time saying, okay, we're done.

Is it more important to discuss this? Should we take it into another meeting or should we reschedule the rest of the topics to another meeting and continue focusing on this? And based on the priority and the importance of that topic and the agreement with everyone, either we continue on that topic and we focus on that only or we reschedule the rest or whatever, or we can just stop and continue with the other. So I'm getting the time allocated is important and assigning a timekeeper is also important.

Andrew Marks: And that's a great point, Mohammed. If you are running the meeting, if you are leading the meeting, I mean this webinar's about leading an effective meeting, you need to own that, you need to own the meeting. And if you feel like you're going down a rabbit hole that's going to take away from what your ultimate objective is in a meeting, you need to say, hey, stop. We need to stop this, we need to take this offline. We need to go discuss this somewhere else and then we can reconvene and talk about this more because we clearly don't have all the facts.

Lindsey Eatough: Or the topic just deserves its own chunk of time. Whether that time is, oh, actually, we'll understand this topic better if someone just writes it down or draws a flow diagram of what you're trying to explain that we can react to. But just double-clicking what you're saying. Yeah.

Andrew Marks: Yeah, I mean how important is that, especially when you're dealing with customers, when you're doing these customer meetings. And there are two things that I want to explore on that is Mohammad mentioned not just owning the time and owning the meeting, but also the prep, right? I think it's one thing to, you have an internal meeting and maybe you got Slack or you have emails where you're going back and forth say, hey, what do I need to be prepped for this meeting? Or I have some questions about the prep. It's even more important with customers to be able to really clearly articulate, hey, by the way, this is what we need you to be prepped on.

Krista Roberts: Exactly. And I think that answers a couple of things that we have in the Q&A. So specifically with customers, we talk about whether it is a recurring meeting or there's a direct QBR, EBR, where we do have a really set strategic agenda and hopefully we've set the objective, here's the strategic agenda, here's what I need you to come prepared to discuss during this call. And we know, I mean, almost every time they try to go sideways. It's like, okay, well we're talking about this, but then it's like, oh, we have this question about this and what about this and oh, we have this issue and we have this. That's not the objective of this meeting. And I mean, again, being the owner of the meeting, being the one that set the objective and the agenda that the customer agreed to because they accepted the meeting, I think that's the key and they accepted it is we definitely can continue this conversation. Let's make note of it, set it aside, continue this conversation we're having today so we can properly come back and answer those questions. Because that comes up all the time.

I feel like especially in those conversations where it is a set business review or whatever you want to call it, I feel like depending on who's there, something random could come up, well we've been having this issue or we just had this ticket or whatever. Wonderful, great, if we have time at the end of our scheduled topics and what we're planning to talk about, then we're happy to address that, but usually those things might again take some research. I'm not prepared to discuss an open support ticket. I'm not prepared right now to discuss that particular item because that's not what's on the agenda. So I think that is just being, again, owning that and having that conversation. And if the customer, I've had it happen to me and there might be some others on this where they're like, you know what? That's actually more important right now

I've had customers come to a business review and say, we have other things, we don't want to talk about this today. And I say, okay, well this is what I have planned for today, if you don't want to have this today, then let's reschedule this, this is what I have. So I think, again, it's just that mutual respect and taking ownership of it is important. And just again, having that parking lot or post-it not, whiteboard analogy, we can take that offline. And again, I might not have the right people on to answer that either. So I'd rather have another conversation on open support issues or tickets with my support team than me just trying to find out what's going on quickly on a call. So I think that's an important piece to help keep people in line with those conversations that always go sideways.

Andrew Marks: I can't emphasize enough how important it is for you to own an especially business, and granted, like you said, there may be situations where your key stakeholder says, hey, we need to go down and talk about this other thing. And you need to respect that, and you definitely need to follow up and say, okay, well we need to reschedule this particular business review. But I've been part of business reviews that have completely gone off the rail 'cause the executive stakeholder wanted that. That executive stakeholder, we're always trying to get engaged in these meetings. It goes off the rails because somebody on their team goes down a rabbit hole and the Customer Success Manager loses control of the meeting and then they wonder the next time a business comes along, why they're having trouble getting the executive stakeholder on the call.

Krista Roberts: Exactly.

Andrew Marks: You have to own that meeting. You have to control it, you have to do it and you have to push back in a respectful way, but you have to own that, right? And you have to push back because you will have problems getting those key stakeholders on future meetings because it will be a waste, they will perceive it as a waste of their time.

Lindsey Eatough: This ties also to Cole's question a little bit as well. I know that Krista, that you went through and encompassed a lot some of the questions in the Q&A and the reason I was smiling about it because one little anecdote, I promise Andrew, it's not going to be a long one, but the theme apparently I'm really into theme state. The theme is make space for it so you can stay in control. So Cole's question is all around because customers love to deflect from topics they don't love to talk about because they want to talk about other things. Perfect. You come with an agenda, there's things that you want to talk about because you're ultimately trying to move them along and get them to have value through from the interaction you're having. Perfect. Make space for the other things they want to talk about.

And if you put that in the agenda, I know that Estella was talking like parking lot, whichever you want to call it, that really resonates with that customer, but also say, I want to talk about what you're talking about, we're just not going to talk about it in this specific moment, but we saved time to talk about it, but let's get us there. That does mean that you need to think about what you want to say and be concise and a lot of business reviews, you talk about all this, but it could have been done in this, right?

Andrew Marks: Point that stuff out.

Lindsey Eatough: And you can actually do that. My little anecdote was obviously I'm a verbose person, love talking about off-topic things, all about it and our wedding planner would say, hey Lindsay, okay at this certain cadence we're going to meet for 45 minutes. I get all but 15, the last 15 you get to talk about whatever is on the top of your head. And she told me that way before when we were having almost like a verbal agreement on how the interaction was going to go. So communicating early and often and explaining how you're going to control the session that you will make space for it and that they'll be able to go into those off topics. Perfect.

There's productive off topics that you can then weave the agenda. Sometimes they go off within five minutes, but it's actually great that they wanted to bring that up because then you can get to your value statement that, you have to make that judgment call. But that's a little expectation setting, exactly Kavita. Expectation setting but also make the space can be more powerful for you to be able to be in control of that interaction.

Mohammed Alqaq: And it's interesting Lindsay, because usually I get the customer engaged at the time I'm preparing the agenda. When you prepare the agenda, just send them a draft, okay, here is the topics, those are the most important topics for me. What else do you want to add? Let them add so I can also prepare. I don't want them to take me off the track with a topic that I don't want to. So let them add the topics. I can prepare. I give them the time so they feel engaged, they feel more engaged when they are part of creating or preparing the agenda, they feel more engaged and then I can control that, the meeting and the topics and the discussion and I know what is coming during that meeting. And if during the meeting they come up with something in new, this is a good topic for the next meeting.

Andrew Marks: I also like the sandbag time. So if I think it's a half hour's worth of time, I'm going to schedule the meeting for 45 minutes. Right? You say make space, I'm actually creating even additional space because I know that we're likely going to go off topic a little bit here and there and if we get everything done, guess what? I'm a hero because we get done in half an hour instead of 45 minutes, right?

Lindsey Eatough: It's like the layer one of the defense, I love what you shared Mohammad, I completely agree. And that's the whole collaborative agenda piece of, so you can know in advance and also say, we won't speak about that because I need someone else and they're not on the meeting for that. I think that the make space is maybe just the second line of defense almost, right? There's how prepared can we be? And maybe I just bring it out on customers sometimes, no matter how prepared I am, they're still showing up with something that happened that day because they were in doing something and John asked them a question, okay, we can't talk about that or we still have that little time to do it. But I totally agree. I appreciate that.

Andrew Marks: Let's get to some of these questions, some more of these questions. Kimberly asks, what tips and shortcuts do you have for creating agendas and follow-up notes or emails more efficiently? E.g. creating a draft meeting with agenda pre-populated so you can create notes during the meeting. Krista, you got some ideas, do you want to jump in on this?

Krista Roberts: Yeah, so I'm big on this because I like to be really efficient with my time and follow up and not get behind on it. And so what I will do, obviously I've made my agenda, it's in the meeting invite. I will go ahead and have that agenda copy and paste it into my CRM, which we use ClientSuccess for managing all of our customer meetings. So I will go ahead and already have that meeting ready up and going, even if it's a week from now, I go ahead and have it teed up with who's invited, who's attending, what that agenda is and leave space to start adding my notes. So when I'm on that meeting, I'm typically typing in notes as I can. There's always going to be some things we miss because we get engaged, we jump into the tool share screens, but I think that's the best way because then you're really keeping notes as the meeting is going.

You already have it in there ready to go. And so then I just literally copy and paste my notes from there into my follow-up email and send it. And so then we have that full circle of agenda through follow up. That's me. I know some people do struggle with typing during meetings or being able to focus and so you can record meetings, you can go back, you can do things like that. But I think for me that's what works. But definitely just I already know what the agenda is, so I should already have it set in there to help me as a CSM keeping track of that and adding in anything.

And then I'll send it to my customer and say, if I missed anything, if I left anything out, please respond and let me know because there is almost always one little thing I left out. And then if they're actually reading the follow-up and engaged, it's great when they follow up. So that's what I do. I just do it directly in my CRM tool because I don't want to copy and paste it and lose it, I'm just efficient that way. But that's what I would recommend. Have it already ready to go to type.

Andrew Marks: I like the recording of the meetings. In some cultures that's not cool, but quite frankly, I record every single meeting and I've only had three or four people opposed to it in the thousands of meetings I've had over the last seven years. And what that does is it allows me to be fully present for the conversation, and I may jot a few things down here and there that I really want to emphasize, but there's some great tools out there. There's even some stuff built into Zoom these days and some apps that you can get from their app library that will capture and it will do... What's the word I'm thinking of? Not the translation.

Lindsey Eatough: Transcription. Watch me go.

Andrew Marks: Transcription real time and I find that to be incredibly helpful.

Lindsey Eatough: Kristi, you're talking about what Kat's talking about in the chat too, you have a framework which makes it so you are working in an expected way every time. So you have certain types of meetings and you have certain types of interactions with a customer and you know what you need to do before, during, and after. And you start to create a framework. And then, I mean, Kat's talking about a template that she has that she can just fill out whether you're recording or whether you're trying to take notes live, depending how you are. Then you can go more on autopilot because you're filling in the same thing and you're doing more repetitive activities which makes you better and more efficient at those activities. So I love what you shared and I love what's being shared in the chat. So go ahead Mohammed.

Mohammed Alqaq: Yeah, yeah. I want to add to what Andrew just mentioned about the recording the sessions and if it's acceptable culturally. For some reason or for some industries for a privacy purpose, they will not accept that you record the session. So because you have different industries and you work with different industries or with different organizations, so each company they have their own privacy policy and so you need to be prepared always with a note taker, like a timekeeper can be a timekeeper and a note taker. So you focus on your discussion, sharing the screen and make sure that you are on top of the topics and somebody will help you with the time tracking and taking the notes. And since you are the leader of the meeting or since you are the facilitator, you know the topics, and you can always come back to the notes and probably sometimes you can add to the notes because you have the topic in your head and you know what's going on.

Andrew Marks: We've had a lot of people that go through the program in security and of course they're hypersensitive to that sort of thing that you brought up Mohammed. And so one of the things that I've heard from them is they'll pair up their CSMs so that they'll help each other get on a call. One person is running the call, the other person is taking notes, and then when that CSM needs to take a call, the other person does the note-taking, it's a nice little buddy set.

So just a reminder by the way we go until 15 past the hour, so we're still going to go for another 20 minutes here. If you have more questions, we're going to keep talking.

Let's see, another question Audrey, and this has been up-voted quite a bit, so let's ask Audrey's question here. Customer calls, tips for engaging attendees who just sit off camera, muted and hinder the meeting's progress. Why am I not surprised that Lindsay has something to say about it?

Lindsey Eatough: This one's near and dear to my heart because like I mentioned, I did Customer Success for Mural, which is a lot around facilitation. I ran a lot of workshops, hybrid, fully in person, and in virtual. And this is also culturally too, and depending the company, depending where the attendees are coming in from, you have to expect that certain people are not going to want to turn their camera on and that is up to them and that's fine. Being a hindrance to the meeting progress is a different thing. This is where what Andrew was saying, and Mohammed is saying, and actually all of us, laying out the expectations prior to the session, depending what you're doing, whether it's a workshop or a specific meeting saying if you're willing, you can turn your camera on. If you know who's coming and say that there is someone that can be a challenge, anytime that that's happened for me in the past, I try to understand that person even more because typically if they're like that, that's someone that's potentially a detractor or a hindrance, whether it's internal or external.

And I personally always try to understand that person a little bit more to not just win them over, but to understand why. Because if they're acting like that, there's some people that are just like that, right? Then they're just not enjoying the meeting. Maybe it doesn't make sense for them to be there and they act like that because they don't think they should be there, but you need their inputs. So maybe there's a different way, like Mohammed was saying, you're preparing the agenda. Okay, insert name here. Do you not want to be part of the actual live meeting and can you provide your inputs in a different way asynchronously before or meet with me one-on-one. Sometimes I'll meet with that person before. Talk about inefficient meetings, but it actually has a purpose, Andrew, this is what we disagreed about on Monday, the things that might seem inefficient, but they actually drive efficiency.

So there's a handful of different tactics, Audrey, to dealing with that person or persons to get them engaged. Engaged does not always mean that they have to turn their camera on though, and that's okay, maybe you give them a job. So again, people like that, I'll try to meet with them before. Maybe you can ask if they want to be the timekeeper. Sometimes in that situation you have to make them feel a little bit special. What makes them feel special? Again, this is also tied to personality type. I would put in the time to do this with the person, but it always works if you try to understand them and meet with them where they're at.

Everybody working in this virtual environment is not at the same spot. I have a green screen. I've done all these crazy virtual facilitations. There are some people that had never worked remotely or virtually or digitally before three years ago. So you have to meet people where they're at and spend giving them a little extra time to understand them beforehand, it will never hurt. So let me get off whatever soapbox I was just on, apparently I'm very passionate about that one. But here we are.

Mohammed Alqaq: Yeah.

Andrew Marks: I'm dealing with the toddler having a virtual temper tantrum, right? I'm going to make you timekeeper, okay? Ooh, ooh, okay. Right. It's like you're dealing with kids.

Lindsey Eatough: How you like to be today.

Mohammed Alqaq: That works. And I like to keep everyone engaged and usually I ask for feedback opinion, I throw something and I ask, would that make sense? What do you think? And I ask for people's opinions and that will get them slowly engaged in the discussion and in the meeting and then slowly they will become part of the discussion. Sometimes people, they don't like to speak out loud, they prefer to send an email their opinion, but you need to be creative on how you engage with them during the meeting.

Lindsey Eatough: And that can always be asked before some of the workshops, tagging onto what Keeley's mentioning...There's an exercise called hopes and fears, but also what do you want to get out of this? We used to send out a pre-work that said, put your name, put who you are. Well, if everybody didn't know each other, and then it was, what do you want to get out of this? What is your WIIFM? And have them write it down, don't give people pre-work 24 hours before, you're just going to make people irritated, right? You're just going to make people angry before they're coming into something with you. Maybe you only have 24 hours, whichever, but if you're able to really prepare, and I'm pointing because I'm thinking about you Mohammed, of this whole purpose right around preparation, give them time to do the things you're asking them to do, to be prepared, and that can include what's in it for you.

Andrew Marks: Let's see, Jessica. Jessica asks, when you're collaborating on a QBR with an account team, how do you make sure your voice is heard? I recently had a meeting where I prepped accordingly from the previous meetings with slides content and the meeting before the QBR, the Sales Director decided we were last minute going in a new direction to the agenda, felt more salesy versus Customer Success. Here's how your last year went and how we want to support you this year. How do we tackle these problems internally? Okay, Lindsay, you got something for Jessica?

Lindsey Eatough: And then we can open to the floor. This happens a lot, right? We're Customer Success professionals and especially when it comes to QBRs or even if it's close to renewal and depending how your teams are formulated, this situation can happen in the moment because for this specific account or it's a systemic issue. I think talking about that in two different ways is a little bit different. Because for that specific scenario, what I would do in that scenario is try to understand why their approach and explain whether it's okay, I need to go back and collect myself and write down and explain, here's the Customer Success lens and here's the value output.

There's an activity that we had done... Like with CSMs did with AEs, was doing a persona map of an AE, the CSMs doing it of the AEs and the AEs doing a persona map of the CSMs. Inherently, the two parts of the business are motivated, as we all know, for different reasons in different ways, and have different goals in terms of interactions. The better each side understands the other one and does a little walk in their shoes, helps that conversation.

Tactically, in that scenario, I would try to explain and say, here is the outcome that we need to get out of this situation, and here is our approach from a Customer Success lens. Now, again, you could say, Lindsay, that's not going to work. They wanted to do it salesy. They're coming in as a Sales Director, that's what's happening. But that's when I question, is it this scenario or is this a systemic issue where you need to actually bring it up with a leadership?

I expect the leadership of your team and therefore you're a part of the organization to try to think about what is the template approach of how we look at QBRs and go for the goals of both Sales and Customer Success, because that just looks more like a systemic challenge for me than that moment in time. I don't know. I would love to get Mohammed, your thoughts and Krista your thoughts, but yeah, that's my two cents on that one.

Krista Roberts: Yeah, I agree that determining if it's a one-off or more of a systemic recurring issue and just getting everyone on the right page because whenever we're having those types of meetings where we are collaborating in more of an account team environment and it's not just the CSM, but it is maybe Sales and CSMs collaborating because every model is different, every organization looks different, we want to always present ourselves and that we are a unified team and that we actually know what we're doing. And so I think that that's a good opportunity to have that internal conversation with that leadership and get that alignment and make sure that we are on the same page and because it could just be a random one-off, but I feel like I've been in those situations before where it is just more of we just haven't set those internal expectations initially. So I think that that's really important.

Lindsey Eatough: And Jessica, I get it. I'm the queen of those situations. That's why I also probably clicked that I want to answer this question and giving yourself a moment because it's hard. You're like, I just worked on this account nonstop and now they want to make this interaction all about dollars when that's not how we actually get more dollars. Right. So, sorry, I know you're going to say Mohammed, apparently I'm fired up about this one.

Mohammed Alqaq: Yeah, nothing to add on that point. I totally agree with you, but there is one comment on the chat that just grabbed my attention. It says, you never know what people have going on either, perhaps they are trying to listen and why eating lunch because it's the only moment they have to eat. I totally understand, I totally agree. But you as a meeting leader, you need to be creative when you set the meeting time that it does not conflict with anybody's private time or lunchtime and you need to engage with the customer or with the participant that, okay, this is the proposed time and you can propose two, three slots for the meeting and they can pick one. So if you are creative when you set the meeting, then people should be prepared not eating lunch during the meeting. That's what I'm expecting from the participant, that they have received the agenda, they are aware of the topic, they're aware of the discussion, they accept the time. So I think they need to be prepared and ready for the meeting, not for eating lunch during the meeting.

Lindsey Eatough: I will say as someone that ends up eating in meetings a lot, I think it's a chicken or the egg problem or a cyclical problem, if you will. There's too many meetings, if you have a stack of ineffective meetings that you can't fully get out of every single one of them, right? Because you can't break that cycle. And I'm sure you also Mohammed work through with a lot of different time zones.

Andrew Marks: It's 11:05 right now for Mohammed in the evening. He should be sleeping right now.

Lindsey Eatough: Right. And sometimes it doesn't work out, but most of the time you should be able to accommodate for people's schedules or break it up. If you have so many topics that you need two hours, break it up and then you'll never overlap. One little tactical thing is too, if you haven't already changed your one-hour default setting of meetings to 30 minutes, that will save a lot of time. I don't know why the default of one-hour meeting still exists, but there's rarely, unless you have too many topics, which then it should just be multiple 30 minuters, that's a weird word or split between meeting and async.

Andrew Marks: There's Google calendar and I know a lot of people have Google Calendar on the back end. There's a setting in Google Calendar for rapid meetings, 30-minute meetings, or actually 25 minutes and hour, and 50 minutes and they get booked.

Krista Roberts: That's what I do. Yeah, I do 25 and 50. So then we have the buffer, so if we have to go to 30 and 60, but my default's 25 and if someone's like, that's not long enough, I'm like, well, let's just see. And then we can go longer.

Andrew Marks: Instead of scheduling our meetings, I'll schedule 45-minute meetings.

Lindsey Eatough: I slide through those five minutes though in the 25 minuters

Andrew Marks: You need a break though. I think it's important. One of the ways to be effective in your meetings also is to give yourself breaks in between meetings. Right? The back to back to back might sound noble, but you're losing a lot.

Lindsey Eatough: You're not helping anyone.

Andrew Marks: You're not helping yourself, you're not helping anybody. I use Calendly quite a bit and I set in Calendly, I set a 15-minute buffer on either side, which is why some of you that have tried to schedule meetings with me, it can be complicated.

We got three more questions here in the Q&A. Let's see if we can get through them quickly. Jackson asks, thoughts on setting a prerecorded five-minute video highlighting a deck when having difficulty with engagement, thoughts on personalized recorded videos in general. Anybody have any experience with this? Personally, I think this is the last ditch effort. Personally, I think you're giving people an excuse to not show up when you do that.

Lindsey Eatough: This has been a little, not an internal debate because we haven't talked about it enough to call it an internal debate. We brought it up as a topic. My devil's advocate for this one is if it's a five-minute video, you can just put it in three bullets and then if they're not engaged, there's certain things that I think can be in videos, and some people love them. Some customers love them, this in itself would be very customer-specific and CSM specific for stylistic reasons and how they like to consume information. I've seen it work, I've also seen it not work.

Andrew Marks: I think videos from CSMs, net it out in an email for me, right?

Lindsey Eatough: Yeah. I'd rather like a list of what you need from me and why from a customer to CSMs, but also vice-versa with my team. Also, sometimes if I'm not getting good engagement, I do something very odd that people don't do these days is I give them a call.

Mohammed Alqaq: I have experience with people that they prefer a voice message during the day and at the end of the day they send you an email response to everything or just a recap or just a follow-up on what we have discussed on our voice messages. Because they believe that during the day they're not able to do emails or respond to emails and voice messages is much quicker for them so they can get back to you immediately. But this is, as you mentioned, this is a customer-specific, this only customer who likes to do this, so you need to work with them. At least at the end of the day. We still have everything documented by email, but during the day, this is the preferred way of communication. He said at the beginning of the engagement.

Lindsey Eatough: And not every CSM will feel comfortable doing this too. So you can't really make people... Like how you're saying, Mohammed, the customer likes this. But we did videos for support videos at one point and we were like, okay, everybody's going to send you two. We just divvied them out. A couple weeks later we find out this person did not want to do that. They are not comfortable doing something like that. So then it wouldn't come through authentically. Videos work if it's an authentic way for you to communicate and share an idea.

Andrew Marks: Awesome. Jackson, thanks for the question. Baga, I hope I pronounce that right. Baga, our organization's asking for too many meetings just for the sake of meeting the high-value engagement KPI. Krista, you got some insight on this one?

Krista Roberts: Yes, so I think this again goes back to what is the objective? Why would we set the meeting? If we're just having a meeting to say, oh, I haven't met with this customer in 30 days and that's my metric, that's my KPI that I am held to, the meeting is a waste of everyone's time. But if there is a true objective, we haven't engaged with this customer in 30 days and because we don't know what's happening with them, maybe we've seen their usage in the platform drop, their renewals coming up, it's time for it. There should be always an objective. There shouldn't just be a meeting just to have a meeting to say, we had a cadence meeting that we met just to have a meeting. So I do think that depending on again, that structure.

I'd say with ClientSuccess we are typically a high-engagement model with our customers, but if it makes sense. I have customers that use our tool, they are power users. They are amazing. They're advocates, they renew, we have great conversations, they don't necessarily need to meet with me every month on a regular cadence. It's not necessary. It's just not necessary. They've asked to not have that. Now yet, if I have something that I'm like, hey, I think this would be great for you, here's some ideas. This is why I want to meet with you. Again, I'm going to present that objective and present what is in it for them and then let them make that decision. But I think there is that fine line of just having meetings to say, hey, my CSM team is meeting with customers every 30 days, are they even getting anything out of that as the customer? So I think there's definitely a fine line there.

Andrew Marks: Every meeting you have with a customer, you need to be adding value, not to yourself, not to check off a box for you, adding value to the customer.

Krista Roberts: It's for them, yeah. I'm not paying for it, I didn't sign the contract. It's not for me, it's for them exactly. What is in it for them? If they're getting value, then I'm getting value.

Andrew Marks: And I think Kareen brings up a very valid point, we've all said it, and this is another thing that we coach on, is it's always a best practice to ask your customers how you would like to communicate. I have a Chief Customer Officer who I've known now, she's actually a friend now, known her for 10 years, and I know from doing business with her and I've done business with her now at four different companies. I know that if I want to get ahold of her that I can send her all the emails and what have you and leave her voicemails, but the best way to get ahold of her is through chat, an SMS, as a text message. She'll be sitting in a board meeting and she'll respond to my text message, I need X, Y, and Z. Okay, I'll get it to you, I'm in a board meeting. So you need to meet the customer. Once again, it's not about you, it's about them.

Last question. I don't know if we have... Lindsay, you actually jumped in on this last question from Matt. We're at 12:15, but what are some strategies that you use for preparing in order to ensure that customers are getting value from calls, not just winging it?

Lindsey Eatough: This one was like where you don't know them super well, right? Ask.

Andrew Marks: Yeah.

Lindsey Eatough: If you weren't leveraged, I'm new to this account. If you are not new to this, you need to know more than you know, this is my CS executive stakeholder, they really want to get to know you here, talk to or come up with a list of questions that will help you understand them better and send it to them.

Andrew Marks: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Lindsey Eatough: Look at that concise answer.

Andrew Marks: Don't necessarily schedule a meeting to do that, like you said.

Lindsey Eatough: I think we have a new survey and make a little survey with a bunch of questions you want answered and be like, we have a new survey so we can serve you even better than we have in the past.

Andrew Marks: All right, we're at the end of our time for today. I think it was a great conversation. We had a lot of engagement, a lot of questions, a lot of great best practices and ideas and thoughts that have been shared, but it's not what I think, it's what all of you think. So please let us know by posting your feedback on LinkedIn and tagging either myself, my wonderful guests or SuccessCOACHING. I want to thank you, my guests, my panelists, for spending time with us today for your ideas, thoughts, insights, and best practices that you shared.

One final note, great CSMs know they don't have all the answers, but they know where to get them, that's why we created the CSM Mastermind to harness the knowledge and experience of the community to help improve everyone. We hope to see you again at our next event on February 15th when we'll talk about success plan discovery. I'm going to talk about asking customers the right questions. Until then, make sure to make space for yourself and your mindset every single day. And have a great rest of your day, week and month, everybody, until we see you again

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Introduction: My name is Gregorio Kreiger, I am a tender, brainy, enthusiastic, combative, agreeable, gentle, gentle person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.