What to Know Before Meeting Clients Face-to-Face

Whenever you have an interaction with a client it is important that you put your best foot forward. This is especially important when you are meeting with a client in person. In this situation, you want to make sure that you are making a great impression and instilling confidence in yourself, your professionalism, and your business. Here are a few important tips that can help you to have the most successful meeting possible. 

Preparing for the Meeting 

One of the most important things you can do to make your meeting go well is to do some prep work before you go. While you can’t anticipate everything that will come up during your meeting, you can figure out some likely questions and prepare yourself with answers. Thinking about common concerns and learning about the specific client will both help you to move the meeting along smoothly. It also helps to learn about their needs so you can meet them throughout the meeting. If your meeting will be over lunch, it can help to know about dietary restrictions in advance so you can choose the right place for your meeting to take place. The more preparation you do, the better it will be. 

Get to Know Them 

The better you know your clients, the better your meetings are likely to go. You should take a little time to get to know your client before the meeting even begins. Try asking a few questions over email or phone call so you can surprise them with your knowledge and accommodations. You can also research them or their business online to add a little more to your knowledge base. You want to always walk the line so that you are always balanced between knowing what you need to know and not crossing any boundaries unnecessarily. 

Be On Time 

There is nothing you can do worse than showing up late for your meeting with your client, especially your first meeting. It sets a negative tone for the meeting and can cause your client to feel poorly about your professionalism and your company in general. It’s better to be a little bit early so you can take a second to breathe and prepare right before the meeting begins. If you do have to be late for the meeting it is important to communicate and make sure that you assure your client that you are doing everything you can to get there on time. But if you can make it happen, strive to always be on time. 

Dress Professionally 

The way you dress sends a message to your client and dressing professionally will show them that you are capable and smart. It’s important to find the balance between professionalism, style, and modesty when you dress for your business meeting. You can feel beautiful and confident in a modest dress when meeting with your clients. You want to make sure that your clients feel confident and comfortable with you and your clothing choices can go a long way towards making that positive impression. Take time beforehand to choose your outfit and make sure that you are dressed to impress. 

Figure Out Your Company’s Best Features 

When you meet with a client the goal is to sell your products and services in a way that works for that client. That means taking the time to figure out what your company does best. As you gain a better handle on what your business has to offer, you can figure out the best way to sell those aspects to clients. It can feel awkward at first to talk about how great your business is, so it may be worth it to practice talking about what makes your business great before the meeting. Then you can show them all the amazing things you have to offer. 

Be Open to What Your Client Says 

As important as it is that you be able to tell your client what you do well, you also need to listen to them. Sometimes you and a client will be on different pages, but good communication can help you to make up for that difference. Listen to your clients and ask questions if you aren’t sure what they need or what they are asking for. Remember that your clients are people and that by talking and listening you can learn more about each other and build a stronger professional bond. 

Prepare a Presentation 

Sometimes things will flow perfectly at a meeting and you will be able to talk through things without ever needing to turn to your presentation. But it’s important that you have your presentation prepared so you have something to say if the conversation falters or you feel like you haven’t said everything you need to. You want to be very familiar with your presentation materials so that you can improvise and talk about it in a way that works for your clients and for the kind of conversation that you are having with one another. When presenting, take a deep breath and make it a point to speak slowly and clearly. 

Make Goals for the Meeting 

It can be hard to define success in a client meeting, especially if you don’t know what your goals are in the first place. Take time before the meeting to figure out what your goals are and how you will define the success of the meeting. Make sure that your goals are quantifiable and reasonable for the meeting you are having. It’s not a good idea to come in with too high of expectations for the first meeting, instead plan as well as you can, set clear goals, and have plans in mind for the future. 

Meeting with clients for the first time can feel both exciting and scary. Harness your excitement and do what you can to minimize your fear. Preparation and care can go a long way towards making sure that you and your clients both have a great and productive time during the meeting.

Read this next: How to Rescue Your Business From Falling Sales

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