Even in a world of remote working, social interaction is still a huge part of running a business. One of the most common interactions you’ll have is a meeting with a client.

There are many reasons you might meet with a client, but it’s always important to make some preparations regardless of why you’re meeting. This article will guide you through the best ways to prepare for a meeting. We’ll cover various tips, including:

  • Create a plan
  • Do your research
  • Check your tech
  • Remember to make a good impression
  • Manage income from clients with Countingup

Create a plan

Planning is important whether you’re meeting with your first client or your one hundredth. It’s also important regardless of why you’re meeting, but identifying the motivation for the meeting is vital. As such, it’s wise to sit down and set your objectives for the meeting. Here’s a few examples of possible objectives:

  • Getting the client to hire you 
  • Introducing a new product or service to an existing client
  • Gathering information and learning more about the client

As well as setting the main objective, consider planning out a rough agenda, so you know what to talk about and when. An agenda can help to keep you on track, as you may become distracted by other conversations while in the meeting. 

It’s smart to have an alternative plan, though, in case you stray too far from the agenda and can’t get back to your original discussion plan. 

Do your research 

Research is critical, as knowing more tends to put you in a better position during discussions, but you may not know where to direct your research. Focusing on the client is always a good start.

If your client is a company, look into their operations. Find out as much as you can about their products and services, and find out what competitors they have within their industry. If you know the person or people involved in the meeting, you can even research those employees through social media to learn more about who you’ll be speaking with.  

As well as researching your client, do a little research into yourself. Make sure you know as much as you can about your own products so you can answer any questions that the client might ask. It’s smart to research what questions you’re frequently asked, so you have an idea of what the client will be thinking ahead of time.

The need for research is one of the key differences between a client and a customer. When you’re trying to sell to a customer, the relationship is much more distant, so you don’t need to put effort into researching them. With a client, you’ll spend much more time with them to complete the work they’ve hired you for, so knowing as much as you can about them is hugely beneficial. 

Check your tech

If you’re having a remote meeting, make sure technology doesn’t fail you. Prepare your setup by checking your internet strength and researching the communication tool you’ll be using to speak with the client. Ensure that you know how to use all of its features, in case the client wants to use it to send messages or attachments as well as to speak.

If you have an information packet that you usually provide to clients, ensure that you’ve made a digital counterpart that you can email to them if you’re having a remote meeting. A great alternative to this is building a professional online portfolio. Instead of sending the client a large PDF or Word document, you can send them the link to your portfolio. The client can then explore your website to learn more about you and your work.

Remember to make a good impression

Most of the preparations we’ve discussed are business-related, but one of the smartest preparations you can make is simply remembering your manners. A meeting is a social interaction and a business interaction, so you should prepare for the social side as much as the business side.

Your appearance is also a key part of making a good impression on clients. It’s not always necessary to dress formally, but appearing well-groomed and professional is essential. Even if it’s a long-term client, don’t dress too comfortably when you meet with them. This can imply that you don’t take the work they hire you for seriously.  

After the meeting, it’s always nice to send the client a polite and professional business email to thank them for the meeting. As part of your pre-meeting preparations, you might want to create a template for this thank-you email, but remember to customise it after the meeting with details of what you discussed so that it’s more personal for the client.

Manage income from new clients with a simple app

Preparing as best you can for a meeting with a client should ensure it goes well. If the meeting goes well, the client should hire (or re-hire) you, which will mean more money for your business. You’ll need to keep track of where all this money goes, so smart financial management is necessary. 

The problem is that financial management can be complex if you don’t have experience in that field. One of the best ways to make up for this lack of expertise is to use a financial management app. An excellent example of this kind of software is Countingup.

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.