When you’re a small business, discovering a potential client is a valuable opportunity. To make the most of it, you’ll need to think carefully about how to ask that potential client for a meeting. Without the proper preparations, you may lose your chance to get hired by them.

In this article, we’ll look at the different ways you can approach clients so you can pick the best method for your business. The tips we’ll cover in this article include:

  • Always do your research
  • Build a relationship 
  • Make sure your schedule is flexible
  • Think carefully about your communication method
  • Ask your contacts to introduce you
  • Manage income from new clients with Countingup

Always do your research 

Before approaching a client to request a meeting, make sure you learn as much as you can about them. Depending on what information you dig up, you may have to seriously alter your usual strategy for asking for meetings.

For instance, a handy piece of info to find out about the potential client is learning where they’re based. If you usually ask for in-person meetings, but the client turns out to operate from another country, you’ll have to change your plans accordingly. 

Or you might find out that the client has already met with one of your competitors. To take advantage of this, you might want to research your competition so you can find out what features of your company make it better than your competitors. Then, when asking for a meeting, mention these features to try and score your own appointment.

Researching clients can provide all sorts of valuable details about them, and this isn’t only helpful when you’re trying to get a meeting with them. Even once the meeting is arranged, you can further research the client to find out the best way to sell your product or service.

Build a relationship

It’s usually a bad plan to ask for a meeting out of the blue. Say you find out a client’s number, and then immediately call them to ask for a meeting. Without any sort of introduction, it’s unlikely that you’ll be successful.

Even if you’ve got very little time with the potential client, there’s still an opportunity to introduce your business and talk about its unique selling points. A sentence or two to describe the benefits of your business is all you need before you launch into a formal request for a meeting.

If you meet your potential client at a networking event or non-business environment, it’s an excellent opportunity to build a personal connection before establishing a business connection. You can get to know how the client thinks, which can help you work out a strategy for how to ask for a meeting.

As well as making it more likely that the client will accept your request, building a relationship can make the client into a business contact you can ask for advice in future.

Make sure your schedule is flexible 

One of the worst things that can happen when you ask a client for a meeting is if they agree to meet, but then pick a date that you’re unavailable. If they can’t reschedule, you may not get the opportunity to meet with them again. 

It can be hard to clear your diary as a small business owner, because you’ll have a lot to do and might end up fully booked for weeks at a time. A smart way to try and make your schedule more flexible is to prioritise your workload

Instead of having a long list of tasks, you can prioritise the essential jobs and leave the rest of your time free for meetings. Be careful of how you arrange your priorities, though, as the meeting you’re asking for might not actually be the most important thing to do that day. Plan ahead as much as possible, but always double-check before you cancel anything for a client meeting.

Think carefully about your communication method 

When looking at how to ask a potential client for a meeting, one of the most important decisions is selecting the method you use to get in touch with them. There are several factors to consider, but two of the most important are if the method is professional enough, and if it seems like the client frequently uses that method of communication. 

Depending on the client, you might be fine asking for a meeting using social media or through a text message. For many businesses, though, you’ll need to pick a more professional way of communicating. Communication methods such as face-to-face meetings and emails (as long as you write them professionally) are generally more accepted ways for businesses to speak to each other. Using these methods might increase your chances of scheduling a meeting. 

You also need to make sure that the client will see your meeting request, and that you make the request through channels they normally arrange meetings on. For instance, it may be a bad idea to call their offices to ask for a meeting if they typically schedule meetings through email. On the other hand, they might never see your email if they usually arrange all their meetings over the phone. 

Manage income from new clients with Countingup

If you successfully ask for a meeting and everything goes well, you’ve got a good chance of acquiring the business in question as a client. You’ll need to prepare for the income a new client will bring, though, so you may want to consider using financial management software to help you with accounting. Countingup is an excellent example of this kind of software.

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.