Meeting a new client can be very intimidating. It’s easy to get caught up with everything you want to accomplish or even go off track. It’s kind of like a job interview—you want to show your clients that you are confident while at the same time convincing your clients that their money is in the right hands, that you can handle any kind of situation with your utmost professionalism and intuition. It’s actually easier than you think. Here are some tips to help you have a successful client meeting.
Prepare for the meeting in advance.
This might sound obvious but it is actually one of the most important things you need to consider before meeting your next client. Research as much as you can about your client and their business. Know their goals, their vision, what they want to achieve, and how you can help them. It will give you a better sense of what your client wants from you and will also help with the conversation. Remember, your client is meeting you because they are in need of your expertise.
First impressions matter.
If you are meeting your client for the first time, make sure you give the best first impression. You only have a few seconds to make that impression. In these few seconds, your client determines if you are competent and trustworthy. Try to look and act professional, keep a good posture, don’t hesitate to look them in the eye and smile naturally. Respect your client’s time. In short, be your most likeable self.
Making small talk.
Never start a conversation by jumping directly into business, as it makes you look eager and pushy. Start the conversation with a little small talk before diving in to the serious stuff. You can start by discussing a recent news item you may have heard or just simply ask how they are. This is the best moment where you get to make yourself likeable.
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Listening is key.
Every client loves to talk about their own business. So let them. This is where you get to be the listener. You don’t want to doodle in the middle of an important meeting. Be attentive, focus on the client and show interest in their words and what they have to say. This is where you get to understand your client and find about what they want to achieve.
Of course, it will come down to a moment where you need to show your client why you are the right person for the job. It’s always a good idea to show some success stories from your past. Show your clients how you have tackled previous projects and how you’ve helped other clients. Talk about how both of you can profit from each other.
Last impressions matter.
If all goes well with your first client meeting and things look positive, it’s time to wrap up the meeting by leaving a positive impression. Your last impression is just as important as your first so talk about how you’ve enjoyed your first meeting and that you are happy to discuss any further queries on the phone.
Author: Isabele Hernandez is currently working as a Business Analyst at PNC Financial Services. She loves to write about new trends in small business marketing, and reflect on how small businesses can leverage digital media to get more exposure. Twitter: @isabele_81