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Clients and customers alike are fuel for each of our companies. Most companies have a mission statement which typically includes how their product or service makes things better for customers. But when it comes to the client meeting, meaning any time we spend with a customer, we find it becomes routine leading to the question, do we really know how to conduct client meetings?
When we meet, definition of a clear strategy for any internal or external meeting is important, but with a client meeting, definition becomes even more critical because not only does it impact your business but it also impacts others as well.
Client meeting best practices do not have to be suffocating or impossible. In order to have effective client meetings, use these suggestions along with your product expertise to be a good host and partner every step of the way.
Get To Know Each Other
In any new relationship, asking questions is the best way to get to know someone. First client meeting questions should be discussed with any key players on your team and be open-ended so as to not limit the response of the customer. Questions to ask a prospective client or recruitment discovery questions are the first way to have them reveal their process, challenges, desires, and needs. Questions to ask at first business meeting can be shared in advance to give the client time to review and prepare however, when looking for tips for effective client meetings, discussing the questions in person can lead to more open conversation, potentially revealing more about how you and your product can help, rather than receiving a planned, generically written response.
Once you have a list of “questions to ask client on visit” list started, you can use this for another client meaning this can be used as a template from client to client. Customizing the questions can personalize the experience or, if you are looking to measure client needs, you can repetitively use the same set of questions to ask client on first meeting and set baselines while generating initial insights measured against how other clients responded.
When planning how to prepare for a meeting with a potential client, establishing meeting etiquette up front is key. Preparing for a client meeting should not only take into account the preparation you and your team need to do but also helping the client participants to be prepared as well. From the moment leading up to the first meeting with prospective client, the less likely bad meeting habits will develop leading to the potential of a failed relationship or difficult conversations.
Starting with the first client meeting agenda, the client meeting structure can be established. A new client meeting agenda or client kickoff meeting agenda can be built as a template, similarly to the discovery questions. In order to build your agenda, think about how you want your client meeting conversation to go. In getting to know each other and how you can help them, what questions can be asked in the initial meeting agenda? Here are a few suggestions:
- Introductions – Who is in the room or on the call and what role do they play?
- Company Overview – What is the client’s view of their company mission?
- Discovery Question Review – How did the client respond to the questions provided?
- Goals – What are the goals the client is hoping to achieve with us?
- Target Market and Competition – What is the marketing and competitive landscape look like?
- Strategy and Timeline – What can we achieve with and for the customer in their desired timeline?
Whether you are building a first marketing meeting agenda or a client relationship meeting agenda, how to approach clients for recruitment opportunities is less about selling and more about learning all you can about them. Using a meeting tool like Docket can help you build agendas and save them as templates to make the most of the time you spend customizing these from client to client meeting.
Inevitably, each client meeting you have will generate tasks for not only you and your organization but also for the client. You cannot create a website for a client if they have not provided their brand assets. You cannot deploy software changes to their live production server if they have not tested for accuracy and impacts. A client review meeting agenda should not only contain a section to log tasks but should have an established agreement between you and the client for assigning ownership and making sure the work continues to move forward.
If there are questions to ask a client about a project, it is good to have identified early on who the right person is to go to. Likewise, helping the client understand your organization and the right person to go to for questions and escalations is key to a productive relationship.
Understand Their Needs
Once you have established the basics, it is time to dig deeper into the recruitment client meeting questions and responses from the recruitment meeting agenda. The responses they provided should be discussed by their team and any outstanding questions be brought back to the client in a follow-up through a consulting meeting agenda-driven session. This is a good way to make sure you understand their requests and helps instill confidence and trust.
As you continue to support the client in their project, it is critical to gain ongoing feedback on the people, process and product. This can be done meeting to meeting as part of an agency meeting agenda line item or a more personal 1:1 agenda session. Share this feedback with your team and continuously work to iterate and improve.
It is perfectly normal for clients to expect more than you are able to provide from the moment the recruitment kick off meeting template kicked off the project. Setting expectations up front is key to preventing disappointment but can be discussed throughout a project so the client is clear on what is achievable. Do not feel you have to over-promise. Plan your roadmap in advance so you can weigh the opportunities a client requests and prioritize them accordingly.
Share Your Brand
Your brand is the foundation of your product or service. It is the face of your company and sets the tone for success, both for you and your client. Meetings reflect your brand from the agenda, to the process, and proactive follow-up. For example, a PR meeting agenda can reflect your brand which instills confidence in clients when they see your pride and organization in preparation for their meeting. A client meeting training is another way to share your brand by promoting a complimentary service along with swag and other items that encourage a customer to appreciate the services you have to offer them. Why do some companies arrange social meetings with clients? It is because having time with clients in a more casual atmosphere not only opens up conversations but also shows your brand through a casual light.