To win a business, you need to impress the client first. It is not easy though and if you get things wrong the first time , you get them wrong for a long time to come . I am not a fan of ‘First impression is the last impression’ . I believe that impressions can be changed but why not avoid bad impression on the day one itself. You can create superb impression in the first meeting itself itself. I have learned many techniques to use effectively during a client meeting, in my various consulting assignments. You too can do the same. Go on and read..
Most importantly, be on or before the time for all the client meetings:
Listen intently to what she is saying:
Note down the important points:
Do not try to over impress:
Use your experience to suggest solutions:
Don’t pretend that you know everything:
Do not hide information:
You create a great impression on your client when you reach the meeting place before time. If you anticipate traffic on the way, it is better to start early. Making client wait for you is a disaster and you should totally avoid it.
The second best thing after the one above is to listen to the client with full attention. Don’t be distracted by the surroundings. Apologize, if you are distracted. Listening is different from hearing. Learn the difference.
But do not start writing a story there itself. Keep your writing to the point. If you feel you missed out on something , check back with the client. Organized points taking creates a great impression. Always carry your own stationery to avoid last minute confusion. Get a better looking, high quality ball point pen. Every little thing counts.
If you feel that you can impress a client either by smooth talking or over simplifying the problem, stop. Client has chosen to meet you because she feels you can help her, in solving the complex problem that she is facing. If she knew the solution, she would not have come to you. If you over simplify the problem, client could even doubt your credentials and your seriousness towards the project.
If you have already dealt with a similar problem earlier somewhere, offer that as an example. It creates a feeling that you know your work and also enhances her confidence in you.
Clients often do not expect you to answer every question they have, in the first meeting itself. You client will gauge you in two or three meetings. If she is happy, she will call for more meetings.
If you don’t know something , tell her that you will check and come back. No harm done. But be sure to remember the problem.
Hiding information from the client can have a long lasting negative impact. But it does not mean that you should reveal all your cards in the first meeting itself. Wait to get some confidence from the client and at an opportune moment explain the issues. Never hide information that they can know from some other sources. It is detrimental to your business.