Client relationships can make or break a business agreement – or a career if you’re an employee. Professionals working with clients are aware that forming a good relationship and mutual respect must be their priority.
If a client is meeting you and your company for the first time, you’ll need to leave a positive impression from the onset. This is crucial, as individuals form an impression within a tenth of a second after meeting someone for the first time.
Here are eight suggestions that will help you start on the right foot:
Dress Professionally and Comfortably
Always carry a professional and friendly image in front of your client. This extends to your clothing choices.
So, remember to wear corporate attire that will make you feel confident and comfortable. When you feel great, you exude self-assurance – and your clients will notice and respond to that.
Focus on Dental Hygiene
Get ready by brushing your teeth and using mouthwash. If you find food debris lodged between your pearly whites, slough off those particles by using a disposable, finger-sized brush. If you have time, use a teeth whitening kit with LED to further brighten your pearly whites. Your goal is to show off a beautiful, white smile to everyone in the meeting room.
Style Your Hair
Keep your hair in perfect shape. If you have short hair, use pomade, a hair product that adds hold minus the crusty finish produced by hair gels. If you have long and wavy hair, on the other hand, keep your locks pushed back by using hair clips or bands.
Conceal Facial Blemishes
Concealers are perfect for hiding imperfections in your face. Creamy cover-ups, for instance, works wonders on unsightly pimples and unattractive under-eye circles. If you need to reapply your concealer throughout the day, keep a travel-sized compact or tube in your small bag.
If you’re shopping for the right concealer, reach out to a makeup professional to get the appropriate shade for your skin. Oftentimes, an obvious concealer appears worse than a bare face with a couple of imperfections.
Learn About Your Client Beforehand
Before you enter the meeting room and promote your business, obtain some baseline knowledge about your client and their line of business. Begin by figuring out how to properly pronounce the company and important client names, as well as top competitors if necessary.
Also, have a good understanding of your client’s position in the industry along with the struggles and achievements they’ve faced in the past. You can obtain this information ahead of time by doing a Google search about the industry, company and client contact. Be sure to read the news section, as well. News articles can reveal a lot about your client’s company, including its stance in a particular industry.
If your client has worked with other employees in your organization, approach these workers for advice. Consider asking the following:
- What can I do to work more effectively with this client?
- Is there anything unique about the client you’ve worked with in the past?
- Does she have preferences on deadlines and other important stuff?
Learning a bit more information about your client wouldn’t hurt, as you can use the tidbits you’ve gathered to build an excellent rapport.
Be Honest with Your Capabilities and Experience
Don’t hesitate to show off what you’ve got. Your introduction serves as an opportunity to win over your clients with your skills and knowledge. If you’re unsure what to say in your intro, use this template:
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, [Mr./Ms. Client Name]. My name is [state your name] and I’ve worked in [state your role or company department] for over [state number] years and have worked with about [state number] of companies. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with you and your business.”
When you’re formulating your intro, keep the length to a couple of sentences. On top of showcasing your expertise and experience, you should round your introduction out by saying how you’ll look forward to doing business with your client.
Address Your Client’s Specific Pain Points
You need to know what’s keeping your client up at night – and how your company can solve their pain points. During this stage, you could present a case study to show how you’ve solved a similar problem for another client. Feel free to use videos, photos, graphs, numbers and facts where possible. Your client will appreciate seeing the tangible results of your company’s work.
Give Something of Value for Free
During the first client meeting, offer something small that they can do themselves for free to help or grow their business. This may be a simple, custom advice or a free piece of content that you can e-mail before the meeting. Offering a freebie is a fantastic way to establish trust and rapport while demonstrating your company’s expertise.
You only get one shot at making a positive first impression. So make sure you follow these eight tips to effectively engage and win over your client.