You've just started your own business, and are planning to meet your first client this weekend. Not sure how he will react to your price quotation? Will he reject your proposal straight away or give you a chance to explain everything? What if your inexperience and young age turn him off?
These are some of the questions that cross every entrepreneur and freelancer's mind when he's about to meet his first client. If you've already spent some time in the industry, then you probably know how to deal with different clients. But if you're yet to begin your journey as a freelancer or entrepreneur, you need to be extra careful while meeting your first client.
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Here are a few points that can help you handle your first client meeting in a hassle-free manner and get the desired results-
There's not much difference between a client meeting and a job interview. While a good preparation can help you succeed at both, an adverse result is also possible if you neglect to do your homework. In order to get the desired results, make sure you do your homework well in advance. From updating your digital portfolio to practicing your pitch, researching about the client's business and putting business cards in the right place, take a look at each and everything carefully.
Time mismanagement is the worst mistake you can make on your first client meeting. No matter what, reach the meeting venue on or before time. It's always good to arrive there a little earlier than the client.
Even though you both have an agenda in mind, that doesn't mean you need to start talking business right from the beginning. Your client is also a human being and must have certain hobbies, likes and dislikes. Start your conversation by greeting him and then talking about things that he likes. It's all about how soon you can hit his soft spot, make him feel comfortable and set the tone for the entire discussion. The first five minutes of the conversation are very crucial; make the most out of them.
Even though you've started the conversation on a lighter note, don't take it too far from the main agenda of this meeting, which is getting him onboard. The casual tone in the beginning was just to make him feel comfortable. Once that objective is achieved, you can have a formal discussion and present your services to him.
Make a list of your client's competitors, their strengths, weaknesses and business strategies. And tell him how you can help him beat all those big names in the industry. Remember that the more value you bring to the table, the more he will trust you.
Since it's your first meeting with the client, you need to pay extra attention to your body language and attire. Dress properly, listen carefully and respond adequately. Maintain a positive body language throughout the conversation.
Don't forget to thank your client towards the end of the meeting for taking out time and having this meeting. Also, ask him if he has any doubts about your services. It will not only make your client feel happy, but leave a positive impression in his mind.
No matter how young or experienced you are, and no matter if it's your first client meeting or the hundredth, unless you give your 100 percent, you can't expect to see positive results. Keep these points in mind, be confident (or at least pretend to be so) and have a positive mindset before approaching your first client meeting.
How did you deal with your first client meeting? Please share your experience with us in the comments section below.