In business, client meetings are the most nerve-racking meetings you could ever attend to. They are more important than your average sales pitch meeting, as they are almost the bread and butter of your marketing efforts. You would not just be selling your services or your products, but you are wooing important people to invest in your company. You have to show what you and your organization are made of. Additionally, you have to show what makes you different, and why they can trust you in a way that is not too in your face.
Business partnerships are not simply built on a sales pitch, but it does start with one. The rest is going to be up to you and your efforts to connect with the client, and let them know that partnering and investing in you would be a wise business decision. When done right, this kind of business partnership endures even the toughest economic times, and on top of that, there would be a successful endeavor for both ends.
So, how do you actually woo a client? If you are about to find yourself in the situation, what would you do? Aside from the general ideas, we have mentioned, here are the things you and your team can do:
Show the Client a Genuine Work Environment
Having a client meeting is akin to having a guest come over to your home. You would want to welcome them properly and show them what makes your home nice and comfortable. That is almost the same in the office setting. However, clients would be aware when companies and organizations are putting on a show to impress them, just a principal would know when the class has been told about the supposed surprise teacher evaluation. Should the tables turn, you would also want to see authenticity. After all, honesty and transparency would make a strong business foundation.
What you can do is prepare your staff. It would not be wrong to announce it during your town hall meeting, but it would be best to just go on about your day and show the client how your operations would normally go. Introduce them to your most trusted team to give them the feel of the people they would also be working with if ever.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt to throw in some special and occasional measures, but be sure to consider whether or not the client likes this kind of approach. Some would appreciate the grand welcome, but there are some who simply want to stick with the important things.
Think Outside of the Office Box
Client meetings in the conference room are getting old, don’t you think? Depending on your client, you can actually and literally go out of the box.
Similarly, when you are throwing corporate events, you can choose venues that are more laid-back and still be impressive in a corporate sense. For example, the clients you are wooing come from the other side of the country. Surely, they are tired from the long travel. So, instead of going straight to the office, why don’t you take them first to lunch? This could take the stress off of them and would give you time to assess how to win this client over. Also, who would turn down good food and coffee?
Pre-games at lunch meetings are a start, but you can also go big by hosting corporate events on purpose. You can have your team hire a party boat or a yacht where you can throw a social company event as a welcoming effort for the clients. While your staff is simply taking their day offs, you can have your time with the important clients alone. This can also be a good way to show them the company culture outside the four corners of the office.
Don’t Just Talk About Business
Lastly, it is important to talk to your clients as human beings too. They are also business leaders who have faced countless struggles and setbacks, in a way you can learn from them, and they from you. Your clients can also be parents outside of the office setting, and they can even be passionate about a hobby that you might share too. How would you know if you would be focusing only on the business aspect of the meeting?
We have mentioned that you need to make a connection to the client, and it does not mean you would leverage on personal things. It has to come from you. You need to make yourself relatable as well, just as you would your company logo and slogan. At the end of the day, people care about human experiences too.
Business and sales meetings are one thing, client meetings are another. It is both making business and building a working relationship that lasts. So, don’t forget to show them your human side, an authentic work environment, and a good time throughout the duration of the client meeting.