How To Get Great Results From Client Meetings Every Time

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Meeting with clients is an important part of business and it’s really hard to get it right. It’s all about making a great first impression if you’re going to win their business. There are so many things that could put potential clients off dealing with you so the tiniest mistake could ruin your chances of winning their business. If you’ve been struggling to get new clients and they always seem to go quiet after the first meeting, you’re doing something wrong somewhere. But if you just follow these basic rules for client meetings, you can make sure that it goes right the next time around.

Do Your Research

If you turn up to a meeting unprepared, your potential client isn’t going to be too impressed. If you have to ask them a lot of basic questions about their company and their needs, you’re wasting their time and it makes you look unprofessional. That’s why it’s so important that you do a lot of research beforehand. That way, you can show them that you’re serious about doing business with them because you’ve put a bit of time and effort into preparing for the meeting. It also allows you to get straight down to business when you get to the meeting so it’ll be a lot more productive. Never go in unprepared.

Dress The Part

Your clothes say a lot about you and it’s the first thing that somebody will notice about you. If you turn up with your tie halfway down and a giant coffee stain on your shirt, that screams unprofessionalism and they’re not going to be keen on the idea of doing business with you. It’s only a small thing and their opinion of you will be based mainly on your interactions with them but a bad first impression is still hard to shake. Always make sure that you dress the part and take pride in your appearance when you’re meeting with clients. It makes more difference than you realize.

Spruce Up The Office

Your office is a good representation of your business so you need to make sure that it’s in good shape if you’re inviting clients to meet you there. If it has an outdated design, that gives the impression that you aren’t a very forward thinking company. When you’re designing your office, why not go for something more modern like an open plan space instead. You also need to make sure that the office is nice and clean when they arrive. If you aren’t taking care of your office space, how can they be sure that you’re taking care of your customers properly? A dirty office screams laziness and that’s the worst thing that a potential client can think about you.

It’s also important that you have somebody there on reception to greet them and offer them something to drink while they wait for you to come down, and make sure that you don’t make them wait too long.

Get Out Of The Office

Meeting in the office is fine but if you really want to wow them, you need to do something a little bit more special. Why not take them out on a golf tour on the course that hosts the US masters or take them out for a nice lunch somewhere? If you invest time and money taking them out for the day, it’ll leave them with a good lasting impression of your company. It also shows them that you’re serious about winning your business and you’re willing to go the extra mile to impress them.  

Take Notes

Hopefully, if the meeting goes well, you’ll start to agree on the basic terms of your deal. When you follow up on the meeting later on, it makes you look incredibly unprofessional if you keep asking them to clarify things for them. That’s why you should take a lot of notes during your meeting so you’ve got a good record of everything that you discussed. This will help you to pick things up again quickly next time.

Follow Up Properly

It’s important that you follow up properly after your meeting. Give them a call or email them the following day to clarify everything that was talked about and thank them for meeting with you. It’s important that you discuss how you’re going to move forward when you follow up otherwise your relationship might just fizzle out. Try to secure a second meeting if possible so you can keep things moving forward.

Client meetings can be tough and you’ve only got one shot at it so make sure that you’re getting it right every time.

Follow Up Like A Boss

Follow-Up

A friend of mine owns a very successful business called Westside Rentals. He built it from the ground up over 10 years ago and now it’s a multi-million dollar company. Mark is a very generous and friendly guy and being an extrovert he gets asked to speak frequently and accepts more times than not. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with him on occasion and hear him present. No matter where he speaks, he always concludes with the following:

Here’s my email address (usually it flashes on the screen), feel free to contact me, I’d love to hear from you.

But here’s where it gets interesting. The more successful you are, the less available time you have. So the caveat is Mark check’s his email several time daily, but one tactic he uses is if he responds to you, he’ll ask that you send him an email 2 weeks later to follow up. 90% don’t. For the 10% who do follow up, he’ll usually stay in contact with you.

This story is unique, but the principle is not. I can’t stress enough as a coach how much people today don’t follow up. We live in a world where distractions are plentiful and focus is becoming a lost art. For example if you send an email to someone you’re trying to contact, the rule of thumb is try 3 times. That means if you don’t get a response within a week, try again. If you don’t hear back after that, try once more reminding the person you understand they are busy, but you’d love to hear back from them. Be specific. Be brief. Be courteous.

Since only 10% of people actually do follow-up, those are the ones who usually reach their goals. Not because they are pushy. Not because they are arrogant. But because they are persistent. Most people give up after contacting someone once because they take it personal. Someone not responding to you isn’t rejection, it’s usually them being too busy or intending to respond, but forgetting to.

Following up is similar to sales. Rarely do you get the sale the first time around, but if you keep at it (albeit you’re not sleazy or annoying) you usually get better results than not. When you follow up, you stay on that person’s radar. Just because they don’t respond initially doesn’t mean they’re not receiving your message. That’s why the “3 times” rule comes in handy. If after 3 tries you still don’t get a response, it probably means you’ll never hear back from them. Go back to what I said earlier: the more successful a person is, the less available time they have. So don’t take it personal, rather take it as a challenge.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to do what everyone else isn’t doing. Follow up like a boss and be a part of the 10% that makes it happen.