What are the Best Practices for Client Meeting?
Has it happened to you too? A prospect you’ve been on his trail for months finally agrees to a meeting. You take hours to prepare for the meeting: you know what to say, the questions to ask and the answers. Except that the meeting came, and you ended up rocking the boat: your expectation and what happened in the meeting were poles apart.
We understand! A lot might go wrong during a client meeting and most sales reps often fall short of the main goal – closing the deal. If you’ve found yourself in this situation in the past, you’re bound to think if there’s anything new under the sun regarding successful meetings with potential clients.
Obviously, knowing some clients meeting best practices increases the odd of making an excellent first impression, which leads to closed deals, and this article covers some of them.
Opt for Video Whenever Possible
Many people use videos at different stages of the sales process – introductory meetings, product demos, prospecting, follow-up and upsell. The thing with videos is that it helps build a close rapport when you meet with clients. Your client can analyze body language and non-visual cues that help them decide if you’re the right one for the job or not.
So when should you opt for video calls over face-to-face meetings? When it’s impossible to meet the client in person. However, ensure the virtual meeting experience is close to in-person dialogues. You can achieve this with a good camera and a video conferencing tool such as Zoom or Google meet. But engagement during client meetings isn’t dependent on the tool but the salesperson.
Prepare a Clear Agenda in Advance.
Unless you’re meeting to review an item you skipped in the previous meeting, every efficient client meeting requires an agenda. Creating a meeting agenda keeps your eyes on the subject matter throughout the meeting and ensures you don’t stray off key points.
An agenda doesn’t take too long to create, and you can save yourself the stress of creating one from scratch by using our meeting agenda template. Bear in mind that the content of a meeting agenda depends on the types of client meetings. Doing this helps with time management, and you keep clients on the right trail when they stray off to share stories of their lives.
Optimize Your Environment
A client meeting should be held in a quiet environment: free from distractions and loud music. Some experts suggest the best place to have a client meeting is away from the office and possibly in a quiet corner in your home if you work remotely. In our opinion, not all the time.
Your home often presents its unique distraction, especially with kids around. For a noise-free environment, we recommend booking a meeting or conference room.
Another trick to help you run a successful client meeting is to turn off emails or social media notifications. To ensure active listening, you might have to put your phone in airplane mode before the meeting. This way, your attention won’t be swayed by calls and messages.
Present a Professional Image
What does a professional image look like? A salesman in an italian suit, or a woman with light makeup and a 6-inches stiletto?. Maybe this matters in a face-to-face meeting, but in a video call, none of this counts. The aim of most meetings is to help clients decide if you’re the right person for the job.
This is decided by how you answer questions, background knowledge of their company, active listening when they speak, and response to objections. Throw your experience level and proven results in, and you will be seen as an authority figure. However, presenting a professional image doesn’t mean going overboard about your achievement. Discovering your client’s pain point and showing empathy is crucial for sales.
What are they likely to ask? What red flags will come up? It would help if you had answers to regular questions up your sleeve when you prepare for business meetings. Clients don’t take kindly to “i don’t know” response to every question asked.
For instance, if you’re a marketing agency, expect clients to ask about your rate, unique approach, samples and results for past clients. Also, how well you align your process to their expectation will determine your perceived value.
If you work in a team, one of your colleagues should be able to help with a list of likely questions clients will ask. If you’re a solopreneur, we recommend looking through the client website or seeking advice from experts in forums to understand areas prospective clients struggle with and where questions might come from.
Carry out detailed Research
Today’s clients leverage self-education before making a purchase. Before a client comes to you, he has researched 5 to 6 more of your competitors. Make the client’s time worth it by showing them that you’ve done your homework, or you will lose them to someone who has.
If you’re going to take my money, is making a background check about me too much to ask? I don’t think so. Therefore, you should have current information about the client. Most salespeople stop at the client’s name, interest, age, income range, demographics, website and company size in what I call a “shallow persona.”
Take it one step further by researching their latest achievement and what’s likely to catch their attention. If you had a chance to make a 2-minute pitch to Elon musk, wouldn’t you take the stress to know everything about him? I guess you would, Your client is no Elon Musk, but your business could use some cash flow.
Do a Test Run
You’ve got everything right but aren’t sure if you’re ready? You can schedule a role play with a colleague to demonstrate how you will act in the meeting; Your colleague plays the role of the customer while you act as the sales rep trying to close him. There are two key benefits to doing this: first, you gain feedback from your colleague on areas that need improvement: perhaps you need to be louder, improve your posture, or make more hand gestures.
Secondly, this helps calm the nerves, especially if this is your first meeting with the client’s company. A positive review of your performance during the test run can serve as a confidence booster ahead of the real showdown.
You can schedule this role play on Salesdeck, especially if you’re surrounded by elite sales reps who know a lot about closing deals over virtual meetings.
No client meeting is the same; what works for Client A might not work for Client B but having a list of client meeting best practices serve as your format for every session. You can easily customize the format to suit the client’s preference.
If you’re worried that most of your meetings are boring and affect conversion, a tool such as Salesdeck can help out. Our unique deck-building system makes it easy to transform boring presentations into a conversation where there’s information exchange between both parties.
Join the early adopter program to transform virtual selling experience with Salesdeck.