You know what they say. When meeting a potential client for the first time, the first impression may be the most crucial. People frequently base their judgments of other people on a variety of non-verbal cues. Therefore, it’s crucial that financial advisors present themselves in the best possible light when meeting with a potential client. Here are some useful pointers to get you off to a good start. They might also improve your chances of closing the deal and establishing fruitful business ties.
First Client Meeting: Best Practices
How to run an effective client meeting
To organize and carry out a client meeting that will help you accomplish your business goals, follow these steps:
1. Research your client
Research the client in advance to learn about their objectives, values, and experiences. Knowing more about your client will make it easier for you to appeal to their interests and convince them to buy something, close a deal, or simply hear what you have to say. You can learn more about your client by conducting an online search for them or by having preliminary conversations with them.
2. Prepare everyone in the meeting
It’s possible for you to meet with a client alone or to work in collaboration with several other people. Make sure that everyone is prepared with the same knowledge and the same objectives in mind. To coordinate your strategies and talking points, draft an outline or other materials and distribute copies to everyone on your team.
3. Communicate your agenda ahead of time
Declare the meeting’s main objective in detail before it begins. Setting reasonable expectations can be made easier by deciding on the meeting’s purpose in advance with the client. This keeps the conversation on-topic so that your client and you can both come prepared and work toward a common objective.
4. Eliminate any distractions
Remove all distractions when setting up your meeting space so you can concentrate on the client. Mark your meeting on a shared calendar at work so that others are aware not to bother you during that time. In order for you and the client to fully focus on the meeting topic, set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature and turn off any active TVs or monitors. Redirect anyone who veers off topic during the meeting to the main subject
5. Quickly transition from introductions to business discussions
Reintroduce yourself to your client at the beginning of the meeting to establish a friendly rapport before swiftly moving on to business-related topics. While a friendly greeting and some small talk are customary, you shouldn’t let socializing consume too much of your time. To make the most of each moment, tie any social conversations back to your primary meeting objective.
6. Appeal to the clients sensibilities
Try to relate to your client’s principles, ethics, and beliefs when you are negotiating with them or making a pitch. Find out what matters to them most, then find ways to appeal to those values. You can achieve this by highlighting particular components of your company’s mission or developing a personal connection with them. Utilize your critical thinking abilities to connect conversations in a way that the client will find appealing.
7. Focus on what your data means
It’s a good idea to have some statistics and data to show your clients, but try not to overwhelm them. When meeting with a client, if you’re going to use research or metrics, explain right away what the numbers mean, why they’re significant, and how they might affect the client. Your clients count on you to interpret the data for them, so being able to articulate your data with assurance can help you project confidence and demonstrate your expertise.
8. Use subtle repetition
Repetition of an argument is a common strategy for persuading others to accept your position. You can subconsciously sway your clients’ opinions and make an idea seem important to them by bringing it up repeatedly. Find various ways to express your main point or objective so that you can subtly reinforce it throughout the meeting.
9. Establish next steps during the meeting
Set clear expectations for the next steps that both you and the client should take near the end of the meeting. This could involve anything from finalizing a sale to scheduling a follow-up meeting. It is simpler to follow up and maintain the professional relationship if your client consents to subsequent steps during the meeting.
Why are client meetings important?
One of the main ways to interact with clients, set expectations, and develop business relationships is through client meetings. They enable you to communicate with clients effectively and pitch ideas or other topics without having to wait for a call or email to be returned. Setting up client meetings enables you and the client to focus entirely on a common objective.
Tips for client meetings
Make your client meetings even better by using these tips:
Find a meeting location where you can connect
Decide to meet in a location where you and the client can concentrate on your meeting’s subject. Meeting in your client’s office might make them feel more at ease, or you could host the meeting to have more control over the setting. To work in a setting where you can be productive, avoid having meetings in busy places like loud cafes.
Compartmentalize your clients
If you have multiple meetings throughout the day, go over each client’s file in advance to ensure you have all the information you need. You can maintain organization and give the impression that everyone you meet with is your top priority by compartmentalizing information for each client.
Set an appointment and stick to it
When you and your client decide on a time for your meeting, stick to it. Rearranging a meeting with a client might create a pattern that leads to additional rearranging or even cancellation. By consistently keeping appointments you make with your clients, you can demonstrate your commitment to them. If rescheduling is necessary, quickly decide on a new date that is as close to the original time as possible.
By providing your client with water bottles, coffee, and light snacks, you can create a welcoming environment. Being hospitable establishes a foundation of decency and adds a personal touch to your interactions with customers, creating a favorable atmosphere for business.
Take notes immediately after
Once the meeting ends, immediately take notes summarizing the meeting. Writing down notes during the meeting might prevent you from developing a strong relationship with your client, so do it after the meeting and organize your notes.
What happens in a client meeting?
When you first meet the client, give them a friendly smile to show them that you are pleased to see them and enthusiastic about the possibility of working together. Make sure to make eye contact, extend a firm handshake, and pay close attention to what the client has to say. You also want to present a relaxed and focused persona.
What makes a good client meeting?
Relationships and rapport-building should always be at the center of successful customer meetings. Arrive at the meeting on time, if not a few minutes early, to demonstrate your professionalism. Engage the meeting’s clients and other attendees, and allow ideas to flow into the conversation.
How do you prepare for meeting a client?
- Step 1: Research Each and Every Attendee.
- Step 2: Establish the Meeting’s Main Goal and Objectives
- Step 3: Plan the Agenda to Support Objectives.
- Step 4: Have a Plan B.
- Step 5: Plan Your Follow-Up Activities.
- Get a Head Start on Meeting Preparation.
What is the first meeting with a client called?
Initial Consultation, also known as “IC,” has been one of the most frequently used terms to describe the first meeting for years. The only significance it has is that it’s descriptive; nothing else.