If you’re in the business of meeting clients and trying to get them on board, then you’re undoubtedly acquainted with pressure. Your business thrives on your ability to sell to people. You can’t be doing it half-heartedly. Instead, you need a strategy. You need to show them your value, your expertise and your service. All in one meeting. Here’s how you do that.
Manners go a long way
It’s something that shouldn’t have to be said. Yet, an unfortunate reality of today’s ‘entrepreneurs’ is a belief that their charisma is always enough. Yes, you can build a rapport with potential clients and get a little less formal. But you can also go way too far, get too familiar and make them uncomfortable. It’s important to always remember your etiquette, even if they seem very receptive. Most important of all, of course, is timekeeping.
You should go a long way, too
Where are you meeting your clients? If the answer is at your office, you’re already doing it wrong. Even before you’re getting paid, you should be demonstrating your level of service. If they’re open to it, meet them at their office. If not, then consider what kind of meeting place you’re going to use. Buy them a coffee or even some lunch if it’s an informal chat. Make sure they’re not travelling further than you.
Puff yourself up
Overconfidence can be as much of a killer as over-familiarity. But you don’t have to toot your own horn to appear impressive. For one, consider what details you give them. If you’re a smaller business, it might be a better idea to give them the address provided by a mail forwarding service. If you’re giving them a website, make sure it’s professionally designed. A smart looking business card can also be as professional looking a tool as a sharp suit.
Know your stuff
You need to be able to talk at length about what you’re going to do for them as well. Winning pitches is about knowing your stuff. But don’t go remembering whole paragraphs. Do your research and find out what they might be looking for in advance. Then develop a few key talking points and memorise details on them. You don’t want to monologue them, but you need to prepare to answer any questions they may have.
After the meeting is a perfect time to continue impressing them. First of all, you need to follow up no matter what. It’s polite business practice. Radio silence will be looked upon very poorly. Then you can slip in ways to keep selling to them after as well. For example, if you have a blog on your site. You can say “here’s a little more on what we were talking about earlier”, then link to your blog. That way, they see that you really do know what you’re talking about. It builds your brand as an expert in the field.
Don’t think you can just wing an important meeting. Yes, improvisation and being able to incorporate what they tell you is important. But if you’re not prepared, you might just be about to fumble your way out of every opportunity.