It seems like a stupid question - like most of the things I ask! But its only seems stupid because it challenges our preconceptions. My preconception to challenge today is: What is the meeting for?
We don't always ask that question. We just want a meeting. We know we want a meeting because we saw it once in The Player and it seemed kind of cool. Forget Get Shorty - get a meeting!
That's how you feel. But what about the other person. They might be trying to get out of it. So what's in it for them? What do they want out of the meeting?
I could write a big long post about getting into the mind of a producer / distributor / commissioner etc. But there is another way, an easier way. You ask them. You tell them, at the start of the meeting, what you want to talk about, and then you ask them if there is anything that they wanted to talk about.
Its simple. And it makes it a two way conversation. I would always prefer a conversation to a pitch.