Use business meetings to make your firm shine

Holding a meeting with a new client is the perfect opportunity to impress them – here are a few tips on making it count.

First impressions do count. So when a new client, or anyone for that matter, enters your office everything and everyone in your office reflects on your business from the moment reach the front door to the second they leave.

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1. Make sure your offices are looking their best

From the reception to your toilets every part of your office represents who you are as a business. It’s not just about it being tidy and smart (though that is important) but also the personal touches and how the design reflects who you are as a company.

If you’re a fun start-up, clients will expect a buzzing atmosphere with funky furniture and a laid back dress code. However, if you’re a finance firm clients might want to see professional looking staff in formal office wear with slick meeting rooms and offices.

2. Bring your best people along

When you’re having a client meeting, keep your team to the minimum otherwise it might feel like you’re trying to bully them into a deal. Just you and a couple of other key staff should be fine. Make sure everyone who attends has something to offer and can answer any questions relating to the business.

You don’t have to take along your best workers – you need to take the ones that are comfortable talking with clients.

3. Hi tech

A modern office should include all the modern technology. This could include anything from video conferencing facilities to charging stations for mobile phones and finger print access to meeting rooms. While technology can show how forward thinking your business is make sure it’s all working and that you know how to use it. Otherwise, you might end up looking unprofessional and inept.

4. Put on a spread

In the Oval Office in the White House there is a big bowl of apples. If it’s good enough for the President, then it’s good enough for your offices. Having food on hand for clients seems to go back to some primal need and provides comfort – even if they don’t touch it.

Food and drink are also a great way to show your generosity and how fruitful your business is. Splashing out on some good wine or high quality pastries can be the difference between you looking like you’re succeeding or you looking like you’re just getting by.

5. Know what you’re talking about

You can dazzle clients with food, tech and design all you like but when it comes down to it, if you don’t know what you’re talking about then it’ll show through. Be well-prepared and be ready to answer any questions they throw at you. If you genuinely can’t answer, don’t try and make something up. Simply say you don’t know at the moment but will get back to them or get someone to research it right away.

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6. A good goodbye

Don’t just point them to the elevators and wave good bye. Walk them to the door to make sure they don’t have any problems getting out. The time between the meeting finishing and them leaving can be vital as they start to think about what their next step will be with your company. By being there, you can help boost the positive impression.

Later in the day, send a follow up email saying how much you enjoyed meeting with them and offer any suggestions about how you feel you can move forward together.

Posted by Ashleigh Sharp

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