Prepare For A Business MeetingWith A Successful Close
Creating content that increases followers, customers & in turn revenue is an important piece to maintaining a successful business. Once you are able to secure a client, or interested follower, it is a good idea to schedule time for a business meeting. Communicating via Direct Messaging or E-mail is a great way to lay the foundation for a possible partnership, however to move forward with implementing a solution for a client, negotiating a contract or beginning a project you should always propose a formal business meeting. Below, we outline the steps we take when preparing for a business meeting or new opportunity.
A Little Research Goes A Long Way
A crucial step in the preparation process for a business meeting is understanding who you are meeting with. Researching the company & individuals who will be at the meeting are both equally important. Before you can provide a tailored solution, it is pertinent that you know who and what you would be representing or working with. If the company has a social media platform or website, you should be able to build your knowledge base from the information provided there. If you cannot find the information that you need online, reaching out with a brief introductory questionnaire before the meeting could also be beneficial. The key takeaway from pre-meeting research is to ensure you bring information that your potential client is interested in hearing, and a suggested strategy that fits into their business model.
Close With Communication
Along the same lines, it is important that you remember to leave the meeting with key follow up questions & a timeline for your client of what they can expect to happen next. This will instill confidence in the client or customer. It shows that you were paying attention to the needs of their business & their team. Creating a timeline for what they can expect to happen next keeps everyone on the same page, and allows you to provide a realistic expectation for when you will be in contact with them again.
What To Bring
To physically prepare, be sure that you remember the essentials: business cards, paper for making notes, something to write with, and your laptop, iPad or similar if you will be presenting or running through demonstrations. It is a good idea to have a rough pricing structure outlined, as most companies want to crunch numbers before making any decisions. Pricing could understandably shift as the project or relationship progresses, however providing a baseline is always a nice gesture. If you have worked with a business in a similar field, or on a similar project, having examples of your work readily available is also a good idea. A visual or tangible representation of what the client or customer would receive from your partnership could help secure their business.
Keep the company you are visiting top of mind prior to the meeting, while on site, and on your way back to the office. Be sure that you are engaged in every aspect of their business & that you fully understand if and how you can work well together. Note their preferred method of communication (text message, phone call, email, or in person) and follow up with a thank you message when time permits.
A business meeting is the perfect way to determine if you are a good fit for the client or customer, however it is also a way to determine if the client or customer is a good fit for you & your business. Remain open to new opportunities, but always stay realistic. Remember it is much better to under promise & over deliver than to fall into a pattern of the opposite.