It’s undoubtedly an exciting moment when, having enjoyed chatting to you on the phone and looking at your website, a potential client gets in touch to express their wish to meet you in person. However, that client could still be considering other companies or freelancers; so, how can you help yourself to stand out for the right reasons at that first face-to-face meeting? You could…
Make sure you are thoroughly prepared
This could seem like an overly obvious tip until you notice just how many different things you can check and prepare as part of your preparation. It’s a matter of not just knowing where the meeting will take place and the client’s name, but also adopting smart and professional attire and readying your materials. You could have your online portfolio ready to view on your laptop.
Meeting at your premises? Check that they look good
If the client will be travelling to meet you rather than vice versa, you would benefit from the meeting occurring in a good-looking place. So, if that place will be your company’s premises, check that the windows are clean. If they aren’t, and are located at a high height, rest assured that the contractor SAS Rope and Rail has rope access technicians who can clean those windows safely.
Indulge in a bit of small talk
Putting forward your pitch straight after the initial greetings could make you look too pushy. You could alternatively chat about such casual subjects as the weather or something that was on TV the previous night. Keep it positive, however. You could just annoy if you instead moan about subjects like how bad the traffic was when you were trying to get to work that morning.
You can even consider hosting business lunches in place of a simple business meeting that could drain everyone’s energy after a certain point. Organizing a lunch ensures that everyone involved gets to take a break and indulge in some delicacies, bringing back their enthusiasm about the whole thing.
Adopt an aura of quiet confidence
Acting too enthusiastically about the client could give off a whiff of desperation that deters the client. In an article on Creative Boom, the website’s founding editor Katy Cowan explains: “You almost want to sound as though you don’t need the work. That you’re in demand and busy. This will entice the prospect and, weirdly, only make them want you more.”
Anticipate what the client is likely to ask
If the client seems delighted with the words that are tumbling out of your mouth, don’t be surprised if that client then asks question after question once you have finally finished speaking. Typically, this is a sign that they are considering going ahead with you. Think about what they are likely to ask about, such as your rates and how experienced you are in their specific sector.
Wrap it all up nicely
While you have reason to be content if you’ve got through most of the meeting without any big stumbles, you still need to finish on a high. You could do this by smiling, saying that you have enjoyed speaking to the client, saying “thank you”, and pointing out that you would be happy to have further discussions by phone. Also, if you haven’t previously done so, present a business card.
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