The other day I was proud to sit in on my first face-to-face client meeting! Now it may sound silly, but I had knots in my stomach walking into the conference room. I didn’t know what to expect, or how much I needed to say, or even where to sit! These nervous thoughts soon went away when the meeting took off, and I was ready to become a sponge.
Here are some tips on etiquette when meeting with new clients:
• Greet great! In other words, show those pearly whites and get that firm handshake ready. There’s no better way to kick off a wonderful client meeting than with a positive face on!
• Listen closely. As the owner of this company was telling us his history and personality, I turned the volume up in my head. It’s important to take in as much information as you can in order to give proper feedback.
• Do the write thing. Make sure to take plenty of notes. This way, you can go back and read over them later. The more detail, the more you’ll have to work with in the future.
• Speak up. Your client wants to hear what you have to say! Now I’d say my number one mistake was not speaking enough. My nerves got the best of me, so I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to speak up as often as I wanted. After a while I became more comfortable and realized that this meeting was the first step towards a great client relationship, and I shouldn’t be afraid!
• Be respectful. This one may seem like a given, but can be lost easily. You have to remember that you are there to please the client. So if they have an idea, run with it! Also make sure to keep a professional manner while talking to them. If they open up an opportunity to joke around, go for it! But your safest bet is to let them initiate any non-business conversation.
All in all, the meeting went off without a hitch! I learned so many things for future business meetings, and can’t wait for my next one. So just remember, keep a positive attitude, a respectful demeanor and you’re well on the way to a great client relationship!