So you work for yourself. You are your boss, you are your staff and you are the finance department. You are also the sales team and that means meetings, lots of meetings. Client meetings are an investment in your time and the clients to build working relationships that are going to last.
Client meetings are an integral part of your business and more importantly the future of your business. It is tricky to know whether you have allowed enough time as each clients need are different and it is important to adapt to this. As a general rule I allow 30mins for a meeting but always allow time in the day to give that client an hour of my time should they want more time with me or the meeting simply over runs.
If I’m meeting a customer for the first time I always allow 2 hrs so you have plenty of time to get to know the client. Give them time to ask any questions they may have about your business or project you maybe undertaking for them. It is important if you are going to be working with the client they are fully briefed on what the project entails and how you work as a business. You also need to allow time for finding out about and asking questions about your clients business. It is an exchange of information not a one way hard core sales pitch. If you inform the client about your products, services, how you work and the cost, then the decision of choosing your company is up to them. They need time to take on board what has been discussed and make an educated decision, without you there.
After the meeting
When you return to the office, have a quick read through your meeting notes. Make sure they make sense to you. There is no point reading it a couple days later. Type up your notes, send an recap email to your potential new client.
If there is anything you have promised to do in the meeting, any research, send a quote, or anything else, make sure it is done in the time scale you promised. All client meetings are important and you should always treat them the same regardless of whether you think they may want to work with you at that point. Attending a client meeting is an investment for both you. it may happen that week or it maybe they can’t commit at that time but they recommend you to someone else. People talk and despite the success of getting referrals online these days it is still the most trusted source of referrals.
Give it time
Although it is important that you respond promptly initially do not harass your client, leave it a sensible amount of time after sending your recap email before you contact them again, maybe a few working days or a working week and just send a short non invasive email just to check in.