Meeting a prospective client face-to-face for the first time can be equal parts exciting and unnerving. Usually, this meeting is the result of emails, calls and hard work to bring them to the table. This debut encounter is a chance to turn your diligence into a new partnership and an additional income stream. At Titanic Suites, we've hosted such connections, watched companies grow together and we continue to house the results of successful meetings.
So, how can you prepare to meet new and prospective clients for the first time?
Ahead of the introductions, preparing for meetings.
Before your meeting, it is crucial that you set a rough agenda and arm yourself appropriately. Consider what your new client expects and the problems that they want you to solve. As part of planning your programme, consider FAQs, pain points for existing or previous clients and key industry vocabulary if necessary. Research has never been more accessible, visit websites, social channels and read news items.
Keep your plan natural, too rigid an agenda may lead your client to think you lack agility or diversity. Put your schedule into a document that could act as a checklist. Ensure relevant tabs, programmes and case studies are open on arrival, hunting around for something on your laptop mid-meeting isn't a great look.
Making the right impression on a new client.
Firstly, we want to avoid the cliché 'people buy from people', but... Some small talk can help both parties settle into a more open free-flowing conversation. It can also help you find common ground that others, who are pitching for the same business, have not identified. Try to ask open-ended questions that encourage the other party/parties to give you info about the company and their expectations. If you can, mention local and larger competitors, it shows that you have researched their current position and future ambitions.
In terms of dress code, too formal is not a significant problem, but dressing down could be. It may seem outdated, but when dealing with clients from a corporate setting, match their dress style. People in these settings are used to specific protocols that they expect suppliers to adhere by when meeting.
Where should you meet a new or prospective client?
Get the location right, you should not be competing with a backdrop of baristas at work. Given all that you have invested to this point, you want to put across your message as plainly as possible. While you may work remotely, we don't advise taking clients to home offices or hard to access areas. As the seller in this setting, it's up to you to facilitate the best possible meeting, and we can help.
At Titanic Suites, we help startups, entrepreneurs and established companies make the best possible first impressions in our meeting rooms and boardroom. Our offices are in Belfast city centre, and we support businesses from the UK & Ireland meet in a central location.
If you would like more tips for your business or you are interested in room hire, call management, or virtual office services contact us now.