Are you preparing for your next client meeting? Whether it's your first meeting or you've met with this client before, you should do certain things to ace it. Below, we discuss what to do before, during and after the meeting. Let's get started!
Before the meeting
Anyone who has ever given a presentation knows that preparation is key. This is especially true when meeting with a client. Here are a few things to keep in mind before the meeting.
Choose the right meeting place
You don't want to meet anywhere that will distract you. Book a conference room if more than five people are attending.
If your meeting is online, test the software you're using beforehand. If you're not familiar with the tooling, do a test run with yourself and a colleague. The test should include checking your audio, sharing permissions are enabled, and the lighting for your camera is good.
Know your content and your audience
Be clear about what you're presenting and who you're presenting it to. If you don't do this, the meeting is going to be a disaster.
To know your audience, don't be afraid to check them out on LinkedIn; it's a great way to find common interests to break the ice. If your audience has a technical background, you may be able to search more thoroughly (e.g., find published research, check an academic profile).
Share the meeting agenda
If the meeting is formal and has an agenda to get through, you should share this with the client and the parties involved. This gives everyone a chance to prepare adequately for the meeting or voice discussion they want to have.
During the meeting
Start with introductions
If it's a large meeting, go around the room and have everyone say their name and title. You can skip this step if it's a smaller meeting or if everyone is already acquainted.
Be confident in what you're saying. The more confidence you show, the more likely your audience is to believe in you. That certainly goes for sales pitches, product updates, and proposal discussions.
The easiest way to be confident and convincing is to know your material and have evidence to back it up. Find statistics and references that support your arguments, and then be prepared to defend any statements you make.
Recap the meeting
At the end of the meeting, recap what was discussed and present the next steps. This helps ensure everyone is on the same page and there are no misunderstandings.
The last thing you want is for people to leave silently disagreeing.
After the meeting
Send out a summary
Within 24 hours of the meeting, send out a summary of what was discussed and agreed upon. Do this via email and include everyone involved with the meeting and relevant stakeholders.
The summary should include the agenda followed, discussion points and action items to be completed after the meeting.
Seek feedback and improve
You may have aced your meeting but you can continuously improve.
If the client meeting involved your own team members, ask them if the ideas you presented were clear and what could have made the meeting even 1% better.
If it was a one-on-one meeting with a client, reach out and thank them for their time. Ask if you could have done anything better or if they have any suggestions on how to improve the process.
Acing client meetings doesn't happen overnight but by following these tips, you'll be well on your way.
The bottom line
Start with these tips and see how you can ace your next client meeting. Choose the meeting place carefully, make all the preparations, know your audience, start with introductions, be confident and recap the meeting. After the meeting, send out a summary and seek feedback.
Hot Tip: An espresso Display can be used to present a slide deck to clients while you have your notes on your laptop.