How to Ace Your Next Meeting with a Potential Client
Networking, schmoozing, and pitching—oh my! If you’re like many of the business owners, the thought of meeting with potential clients can be daunting. Whether it's your first meeting or your hundredth (or thousandth...), there are tips that will help ensure success. Below are five of our top tips for nailing your next meeting with a potential client.
1. Be Prepared: You can never be too prepared for a meeting. Make sure you have done your homework and know the needs and wants of the client before even entering the room. This means being familiar with their industry, researching their products/services, knowing who you are speaking to within the company and any other information that is relevant to the conversation. Being prepared shows them that you take them seriously and know what you’re talking about—an important step towards gaining their trust!
2. Know Your Stuff: Have an arsenal of info on hand in case the conversation lags or gets side-tracked. It is always useful to have something compelling to say that will help engage your potential client and keep them interested in what you have to offer. A few examples include providing helpful insights into their industry, useful statistics related to their product/service or even offering up suggestions as to how they could better market themselves online, or with TV and radio... whichever you think they'd resonate with. Being able to provide advice and guidance in addition to just selling yourself is key when it comes to winning over a new customer.
3. Be Professional: It may seem obvious, but being professional is essential when meeting with a potential client. Dress appropriately, arrive on time, turn off all electronic devices and maintain eye contact throughout the conversation. These small things do not go unnoticed by those you’re speaking with! At the same time though, you know who you are meeting with, so if they're a little more laid back, offer to meet in a place they feel comfortable in, or at a time that works better for them. Some of our clients prefer to meet in the evening because during the day they're too busy and distracted by emails. In that case, work around their schedule when possible.
4. Listen: Listening is one of the most underrated skills when it comes to successful networking. Be sure to listen carefully and actively during conversations as this will show your potential client that you value what they’re saying and are truly interested in learning more about them and their business needs. Listening also allows for an opportunity for collaboration between both parties which often leads to greater success down the line.
5. Be Confident: Last but certainly not least - confidence is key. Having confidence in yourself demonstrates power, knowledge and control - all qualities that people look for when selecting someone they want to work with on an ongoing basis. So don't be afraid to speak up during meetings - share insights, provide advice or ask questions - all these things demonstrate confidence without coming off as overly aggressive or pushy which can be off-putting during initial meetings with new clients!
Meeting with potential clients can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be if you come prepared. By following our five simple tips above - from being prepared & knowledgeable through listening & being confident - we are sure you'll ace your next meeting with a prospective client! Good luck!