Good communication is as stimulating as a decent cup of coffee… and just as hard to sleep after.
After meeting potential clients for the first time, I replay the meeting on a continuous loop… all night.
If you have the meeting set up then you have your foot in the door, now all you have to do is impress them.
Here are a few pointers:
- Most importantly – do your homework on your client/their company/market they are in, a Google search takes seconds but can reap huge rewards.
- Chose your meeting space wisely, if it’s a cafe then is there a quiet room you can use, out of the way so you can talk in peace? If not then is your space clear of clutter but reflects your personality? Can you showcase your talent without it being too obvious – unless that’s the whole point then go for it..show off?
- Dress smartly/professionally but not out of character – you have to be comfortable too.
- Be aware of your body language – you may be nervous but try not to show it. Take deep breaths, smile & enjoy it.
- Start with small talk & don’t go straight into the business it will overwhelm the situation.
- Buy decent coffee – I know we own a coffee business but I can’t emphasize enough how little effort it takes to serve amazing tasting coffee.
- Now you can talk business – make sure you have also researched their competitors & those industries aligned with their business.
- Gently critique their business – what they are good at, what they are not good out, list how you can help them improve.
- Ask them what they like about their business what they don’t like & what they are looking for.
- Ask open-ended questions, take notes & repeat their answers so you know that the information is correct.
- Only say “Yes” or agree to work with them if you are 100% sure you can deliver.
If the client has taken time out to meet with you then chances are they want to work with you.
Take all the information you have, write it down in a contractual agreement, making sure both parties understand the small print… and you are both happy with it.
Amazing coffee isn’t expensive & if you get it right your prospective client will be impressed right from the start.
The most important thing to remember: Clients just want you to be able to solve their problems.