Meeting potential clients can be exciting at best, and absolutely nerve-wracking at worst.
Whether you’re a seasoned PR expert or a closet-introvert, these tips will no-doubt have you winning over clients left and right.
Show yourself some love
Before you can convince anyone else of your abilities, you’ve got to believe it yourself! Practicing positive self-talk is a powerful tool to increase one’s own self-confidence and self-worth. You have been contacted because someone saw something special in you, and with good reason! Before you walk in (or sign in) to your first meeting, say to yourself: ¨I am talented. I am special. I am capable.¨ Repeat it as many times as you need until you feel relaxed, confident, and ready to strut your stuff!
Prepare, prepare, prepare!
You wouldn’t walk into a job interview without having thoroughly researched the company, would you? So why wouldn’t you when meeting potential clients? Remember, they’re the ones with the final say, so doing your homework is a must. Double check the details they’ve sent through. Do they give any insight into what type of people they are? What type of ceremony do they want? Where do they want it held? Is there anything off-limits for them? What are their budget limitations? Review any special requests they may have. The time you spend getting to know their circumstances will show and make your services that much more personal.
Make a good first impression
And I don’t mean just dressing nicely (although dressing appropriately is important, too!) I’m talking about your aura. Customers can smell confidence, or a lack thereof, from a mile away. When you first meet, make sure you greet them with a warm smile. If it’s face-to-face, walk in with your head held up, your back straight, and, depending on where you live, a nice firm handshake, kiss on the cheek, etc. Carry yourself as the proud, capable person you are and they will surely feel more at ease when they make their decision.
Initiate a bit of small talk
The amount and depth of small-talk can vary by country, but as a general rule starting off the meeting with some light conversation tends to put people at ease and acts as a leeway into more important topics. Any plans for the weekend? Recommendations for a nice place to eat in the area? What a coincidence, they are dog lovers too! Just be conscious to stay away from politics, religion, or any other controversial topics to avoid potential disaster!
Ask them questions (and listen to their answers!)
This is a crucial one. There’s nothing worse than someone being pushy with their services, stopping you mid-sentence to tell you how they have experience in this and that, without letting you get a word in. Let them do the talking. Make sure to listen intently to their needs, take notes, and answer their questions only after they have finished speaking.
Give them free, friendly advice
Free!? You want me to give them stuff for free!? I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I am telling you just that. Being in the service industry, and especially one that provides services that are highly-personalised, means we truly care for our clients and want them to receive the highest quality service possible. If you have some great florist recommendations, why not share it with them? If they want a service that you aren’t well-versed in providing, tell them and point them in the right direction. When a potential client knows they can trust your judgement, they are more inclined to stick with you, or at the very least, recommend you to others.
Tell them why you’re the one
This is a no-brainer! After your potential-clients have told you exactly what they want, show them why you are the perfect person for the job. Give them examples of your past work, especially if it shows aspects of what your clients have asked for. Offer them complimentary services for a bit of added-value. Demonstrate your expertise and experience by answering any lingering doubts they may have.
Wrap-up and follow-up
Before the meeting ends make sure to secure your next contact with your potential clients (this could be sending through a quote, setting up a call once they’ve spoken to their partner, etc.) Thank them for their time, confirm your next contact, and let them know you’re looking forward to speaking again. Afterwards, be true to your word and follow through with your promises. Your dedication and timeliness will be appreciated.
There you have it! Now you should be more than ready to rock that first client-meeting with all the confidence in the world. Go get ‘em!