When you’re running for office, you’ve got to meet a lot of people. Donors, voters, interest groups, volunteers, the media and more. It’s really easy to fall into a pattern of taking meetings without a specific purpose in mind. Or without knowing what the other party’s purpose is.
Depending on the profile of your office and available time, it’s likely not going to be possible to write up a briefing sheet for every single meeting. But at the very least, you should take a few minutes to consider who you’re meeting with as well as ask “What” and “Why” for yourself and your counterpart.
What and Why relate to what each party wants to accomplish in that situation. When thinking about a donor, you’re clearly hoping that they’ll donate a specific amount of money for a discrete cause. From their perspective, however, they want to see certain solutions, ones you ostensibly also care about, be enacted.