Here at The YGS Group, our focus is not only on quality products, but also quality relationships. Part of developing solid relationships with our clients is scheduling visits throughout the year that are separate from sales-oriented visits. There are some meetings that work better in person versus over the phone, and in-person meet ups give everyone a chance to put faces to names. With the help of Marketing Account Manager Kali Eskew, who spends a good portion of her time meeting with clients, we put together this checklist of tips to remember before, during, and after you meet with a client.
- Create a meeting agenda. Agendas lay out the specific purpose of the meeting and keep everyone on track. Include a timetable of who will be speaking when and for how long. Share your agenda a day before with all attending parties, including the client.
- Know your environment. Ask your client what the room setup will be. Being prepared for what technology is available (or isn’t) is helpful in case there is a need to utilize on-screen visuals, recording technology, or the Internet.
- Know your client. If it’s a new client, doing some research about the organization in advance of the meeting is always helpful. Your client will be impressed by your knowledge and you will be better prepared to tackle topics of discussion.
- Remember your business cards! Check them the day you schedule the meeting to ensure your title and contact information are current. If not, order new ones!
- Leave early, arrive on time. Have the client’s phone number available just in case you get held up due to unexpected travel delays.
- Take notes professionally. Some people are better at taking notes on a laptop or tablet, and that is generally acceptable in professional settings. However, consider your audience and the tone of the meeting; sometimes keyboards can be distracting. Have a fresh notebook and a pen just in case.
- Follow up. After the meeting, compile (if necessary) and distribute meeting notes and identify action items to keep everyone on track.
And, as a final tip, and something to remember with all your meetings: relax. If you’ve taken all the necessary steps to prepare, then you are ready.