Practical tips (I follow) to impress a potential customer in the first meeting.
Meeting a potential new client always makes me feel a little nervous. It’s the nervousness and excitement from a brand new project . A chance to create something different and earn some money, and mostly, because the new project can bring you a professional challenge and make you grow.So I always try to do the same. My main goal is to make a good impression and to check whether the offered job is something I want to/can do.
Here are my 8 tips:
- Before the meeting I always check the web page and social media of the potential customer. I make a list of pros and cons and whether there is room for improvement. If the potential client did not make clear why he wants to hire you or which of your services he is interested in, it is always going to be useful to have a general idea of his digital assets, how he manages them, where he posts content, what kind of content, number of followers, etc. This is also useful if your new potential customer has told you what he wants or needs from you. There is also the possibility that he does not have a web page or social media profiles. In that case you can check on his competitors and his niche. It will give you an idea about the market and what you can develop for him.
- On your way to the meeting. DO NOT BE LATE, NEVER. It is going to make you loose points. But if it is you the one who has to wait, well, you just learn a little bit more about what kind of client he can be, and you can be prepared for that. Also, make sure you know how to get where the meeting is going to take place, and if it is in your office, get everything ready and be organized.
- Manners and good presence. I don’t mean ‘wear a suit’ since if you do not feel confortable with that, that could worsen your presence but do try to make yourself presentable and take into account where the meeting is going to be and what kind of job you will be doing. I do not advise you to dress up as someone you are not, neither, and do not experiment with your make up. It will make you uncomfortable and it will be noticed. Greet with friendliness, do not interrumpt, be interested and ask relevant questions to the matter discussed.
- Be confident of your possibilities: The worse they can say is, no and that only leaves you in the same place as yesterday, so you have nothing to lose. If you don’t get the job, don’t be mad about the time you have invested getting ready for the meeting. All the information you compiled, can be of good use in the future.
- Bring a portfolio of your best work and of the ones that are relevant to the job. Show examples of what you have done and explain how and why it went well.
- Try to connect on a personal level. I am not asking you to become best friends in one meeting, but find something in common, something you can both talk about without loosing profesionalism. It will also help you, if you show real interest in the project. But, at the same time…
- …Be crystal clear with your possiblities of success. Most of the time, after that first meeting, you know if you are capable of doing what you are being asked to do (whether you have the time and are able to do it). Sometimes, your potential client has reached you because someone has told him about you, but he does not know what you can or can not do. Take your time to assess the project and to present a proposal (3-4 days are O.K.) and if there was something that needed clarification, try to answer in no more than 2 days.
- Follow-up. If you are the one waiting for a response, you can check on him after 4-5 days (ask him what are the next steps before leaving the meeting, so you know what to expect). Write him an email or call him and make a comment of something you talked about. For example, if he made a comment about a new trend or about a new campaign, try to include a link of an article that talks about it. It will help him remember you and remind him that you are interested in what was said in the meeting. Also,it will make you stand out from other entrepreneurs or agencies.
Whether you follow this advice or not, I cannot guarantee you getting the job, but I am sure you are going to make a good impression, and sometimes that can make a big difference.
Any advice I forgot to talk about? What do you consider essential for a first meeting?
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