As a business owner client meetings are an essential part of my business. Not only do I meet with potential clients, which is extremely exciting because of the opportunities that exist to build new relationships but I also meet regularly with my exiting clients to ensure that their needs are addressed and to continue to be an advisor of choice.
But what does it take to make a client meeting successful? Here are my best tips for planning client meetings:
- Prepare, prepare, prepare
I cannot emphasise this enough. Preparation is key to any successful meeting.
In preparing for a meeting you need to ensure that you know:
- why you are having the meeting;
- where and at what time the meeting is at;
- how to you intend to address the matters to be discussed; and
- who are meeting participants.
- Have an agenda
Always set an agenda for your meeting. By setting an agenda it ensures that the most important matters are addressed and provides a point of reference for everyone in attendance. I have also noticed that agendas have improved my productivity because I can easily identify what needs to be done next and by whom.
If you are responsible for hosting a meeting, I suggest that you send the agenda to all the meeting participants at least 2 days before the start of the meeting. This provides an opportunity for those attending to adequately prepare.
- Do your due diligence
The process of reaching and understanding a potential client or the matters to be discussed at a meeting should never be ignored.
When I conduct due diligence on a potential client I try to understand as much possible about their business – products, services, locations, management. For my clients, the purpose of my due diligence is to provide solutions to their existing and potential problems.
- Look the part
Always ensure that your look is professional but also keep in mind your audience. Having a good understanding of your client’s corporate image and environment goes a long way in guiding your professional appearance.
With these tips, plan your next client meeting successfully.
– Rashida Parasram, Managing Director MPR Consulting