Business meetings can be tough to get right if you don’t know the formula. If you are someone who happens to work with clients already you know the inherent value of making a great first impression from the get-go.
Establishing a good working relationship with any potential new client should be a number one priority for your business. No matter if you’re just starting out with clients, or if you’re someone who’s been doing business for a long time, this list will help you to ensure that you nail your next business meeting.
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Do your research
When you are going into a new business meeting you need to ensure that you have at least a baseline understanding about your client, and their business. Obviously it’s impossible that you’re going to know everything – after all, you’re going to the meeting to better understand your new client – but the more that you are able to show that you understand their business – the more impressed they may be.
It might be a symbols know how to pronounce a company and client name, or even just a top competitors.
If you have an understanding of how this client is positioned in the industry, you’ll find that you’re more able to speak to them on their level. It’s not like you have to have a thorough understanding of the industry, I breathe Google search can reveal a lot of the information that you’re after.
It’s also helpful if you understand the stance that a company or person takes with important issues that may potentially arise, so that you don’t make a faux pas!
When meeting with a new client they are mainly interested in knowing if the skills and knowledge that you have make you the person or company to work with them. They just want to know that you’re the right person to help them with their problem.
Chances are you will be given an opportunity to introduce yourself and to give yourself a little background, and this is a chance to not only brag a little, but to honestly and clearly address any shortcomings that you may have – up front.
Remember that this meeting has happened for a reason, so don’t be afraid to show off what you do have, and outline what you don’t have, in order to better demonstrate your fit for the job. People appreciate honesty.
Once you’ve had the chance to introduce yourself, make sure that you sit back and listen to whatever it is that is being said. And don’t just listen, listen actively. You need to be picking up on what matters the most to the client, and what they want your role to be both in the meeting, and beyond.
If you don’t listen actively you may find that you lose their trust based on the fact that they don’t see that you are dedicated enough to listen. If you’re nervous, just take a few quiet breaths.
Everyone loves to feel like a bit of an expert occasionally, but don’t go over the top on this one. Based on the primary research that you do on the company, ask some pertinent questions if the opportunity arises. Don’t ask questions just to show off your knowledge though, ask questions to actually gain some new information.
This relationship is new and now is the time to gather as much information as you can. The questions that you asked shouldn’t be so basic that a bit of perfunctory research can address them, they need to focus on something that you actually can’t find online.
A quick email after the meeting will secure your interest and hopefully their custom! Don’t forget, if making a great first impression counts – find your business the very best in serviced offices and put yourself in prime position for a great impression.