How To Set Up a Meeting With a Potential Client
Getting a potential client meeting isn’t easy. It takes a lot of persistence and resiliency. Getting the attention of a potential client and getting them to the point where they want to meet with you requires unwavering focus.
Using Digital Tools to Engage with Potential Clients
Digital tools provide us with myriad ways to connect with prospects. The engagement channels available to entrepreneurs and small businesses continue to grow. Email obviously is one of the prevailing channels. But email has become chocked full of sales emails—and consumers and businesses alike block and/or tune them out in most cases.
Easy-to-use web management tools streamlines the process for building a website, and the majority of businesses today have their own website. And as many Davinci Virtual clients know via Davinci Live Web Chat services, live web chat enables businesses to proactively engage with prospects when they visit your website (reducing bounce rates and e-commerce cart abandonment rates). Digital display ads, text, and social media also lower the engagement bar, enabling freelancers to small businesses to run effective marketing campaigns.
Once you have secured a meeting with the prospect, it’s still too early to celebrate. Rather, it is time to plan for the meeting. First impressions count, and you need to ensure that the first few minutes of the prospects time with you delivers the brand experience you want.
Checklist of Things to Do When Preparing to Meet with a Potential Client
Prior to the pandemic, in-person meetings often were the desired objective—depending on the nature of your offering and level of interest on the part of the client. Short 30-minute meetings over virtual conferencing software are the new normal. As 30 minutes can pass very quickly, preparing for these meetings is even more important than a face-to-face meeting. You must ensure that every minute—or second—counts to walk away with a commitment or second meeting.
Schedule a Pre-Meeting Call with the Prospect
One of the tactics many solopreneurs and businesses employ is a brief call before the meeting. This gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself to the prospect and to glean the primary reasons for responding to your email, text, live web chat, or digital ad. This also helps you shape the agenda for the meeting so that the topics and issues covered are relevant to the prospect. These pre-meeting calls can also help you identify prospects who aren’t fits for your product and/or services and to eliminate them before you spend valuable time prepping and meeting with them.
Determine What Meeting Setting Is Appropriate
Even before the pandemic, virtual sales meetings using video conferencing services like Zoom of GoToMeeting with prospects were on the rise. They became the norm and are certain to remain prevalent after the pandemic subsides. There are benefits to in-person meetings, including uninterrupted presence (video meetings can be plagued with technical mishaps and presenters and guests struggling with mute, screen sharing, chat, and more), full body language (which convey a lot in terms of who someone is receiving shared information), and interpersonal trust (connections that are difficult to form over video only).
Do Research on Those With Whom You Are Meeting
You need to have a good understanding of those with whom you are meeting. It starts with a solid background on the company—its products, messaging, and earnings. Your research should extend beyond the company. Many uses third-party subscription services to gain detailed access on their prospects before meeting. Professional profiles on LinkedIn and other professional networks afford valuable background information.
But not all of us have the budget and resources to purchase these third-party services. In most instances, there is plenty of information on the internet and social media that can be easily and quickly retrieved. You can learn about their education, their professional progression and achievements, and their professional connections. You can also get a sense of how they communicate and how they position themselves.
Do Research on Competitors
For business meetings, you should do some research on the company’s key competitors—their products, services, messaging, and latest earnings. Understanding which ones are leaders versus laggards and how your prospect ranks is important. The more knowledge you have about the company, its competitors, and industry segment, the better you position yourself in the initial sales meeting with a prospect.
Prepare an Agenda and List of Questions
Putting together an agenda and list of questions for the meeting beforehand is essential. This helps ensure the conversation stays on track and that you are able to qualify your client’s requirements. Check out this article to get a list of questions that you can tap for your prospective client meetings. Questions focus on uncovering what problems you can help solve.
Anticipate What Questions Will Be Posed to You
Just as you need to prepare to pose a list of questions to the prospect, you also need to prepare to answer questions from the prospect. You likely have a good idea of many of the questions based on prior prospect meetings. The research you do on the client company and the various members who will be involved in the meeting will help you anticipate some of the questions as well.
Choose the Location
For in-person meetings, the location you choose is critical. If a company has a fixed, permanent office location with a conference room, the decision might be to hold the meeting there. But office locations that solopreneurs and small businesses can afford are often not in locations that garner professional recognition. Plus, conference rooms in permanent office settings may not have the right configuration and lack the right presentation tools.
In other instances, a local coffee shop might be the preference. But they are noisy and lack the privacy needed for a productive meeting. In addition, coffee shops don’t come with the presentation tools often needed for prospect meetings.
Hotel conference rooms are another option. But they are expensive. They also aren’t always configured to facilitate productive and successful meetings. A better alternative for many meetings with prospects is rented meeting space like Davinci Meeting Rooms. It is half the cost of hotel rooms. They offer privacy and eliminate surrounding distractions. They also come with great presentation and collaboration tools.
Schedule Catering and Refreshments
If your meeting is scheduled for a couple hours or over the lunch hour, you should schedule catering services—beverages or food. Rented meeting rooms make it easy. Davinci Meeting Rooms, for example, includes catering services that makes it easy and fast to order ad put the onus of logistics on someone else so that you can focus on your prospective client.
Prepare Yourself Physically
You want to be at peak physical and mental condition for the meeting. First, make sure to eat a meal with carbohydrates the night before for energy. Second, don’t stay up late and get a restful sleep. This will help you concentrate and sustain peak energy through the meeting.
Now It Is Time to Execute
Once you have everything set up for your meeting, it is time to execute. The information you gleaned about the prospect before the meeting starts will enable you to clearly articulate your value proposition and how you can solve their challenges and address new business opportunities. The right venue for in-person meetings, at the same time, will help you make the right first impressions and have a highly productive and collaborative interaction.