When working in an office environment, you typically communicate with clients via phone or email. However, there will be times when your client will come to your office to discuss important topics. Whenever clients come for a meeting, you need to make sure they leave the building with the best impression of your business. Read this guide and brush up on things you can do to make a visit as smooth as possible.
Do Research Ahead of Time
One of the first things you should do is research your client. Sure, you’ve talked to your client over the phone plenty of times, but it’s a different experience when you’re meeting your client face-to-face for the first time. Do some extra research on your client’s company ahead of time, and think of any questions you might want to ask during the meeting.
If your boss has spoken with this client before, ask if there’s anything you should know before the meeting. If you are on LinkedIn, check and see if you have any connections with people who know your client. It’s very helpful if you know some people who have spoken to your client in-person before.
Prepare an Agenda
Another thing you can do before you meet with a client is to prepare an agenda. Agendas are a great tool to keep track of the important topics that need to be discussed. Without an agenda, you won’t know what to discuss with your clients, and you will waste time trying to figure it out.
Communicate with your client through email beforehand to review any topics that you want to focus on when you meet. List the topics by priority so you discuss the most important topics first.
Be careful how many topics you list, because you may only have a small amount of time to talk. This is why it’s important to know which topics you should start with.
First impressions are critical in any business. The first impression you give someone will last a long time, so it’s important that you pick a professional outfit to wear on the day you meet with your client. Even if your client is laid back, you still want to show that you are a professional who can be relied upon.
A standard long sleeve shirt and dress pants are usually good options, but if the client has higher standards then consider wearing a suit and tie or a dress. Avoid anything that’s too casual, such as sweatpants or t-shirts. You don’t have to be fancy, but you do have to be presentable.
Listen and Take Notes
During the actual meeting, it’s important to pay attention to your clients and see what they want. Get your clients talking by asking specific questions, and once they start you should listen to everything they have to say. By doing this you show your clients that you are being respectful, which helps create a strong relationship.
You want to get as much information from your clients as possible, and they will hesitate to talk if you aren’t showing interest. Make sure you take notes throughout the meeting so you can ask questions later if there is something you are unsure about. Don’t take notes about everything; focus on the most important information so you aren’t wasting too much time writing.