Running your client meetings the right way is essential to thriving as a successful business. When we started PIXL we had our idea of what and how our client meetings would run. But all that was thrown out the window after meeting one.
Here are 8 things we’ve learned along the way:
- Always expect the unexpected. Plans matter but nothing goes according to them.
- Set boundaries up front. People respect when you do this and won’t follow them unless you communicate them.
- Give quality advice and recommendations. Holding back is simply selfish and a bad practice. Holding back for money is even worse. And if a client takes an idea and profits with it without giving you credit (unfortunately too often the case) that just let’s you know the type of company you are working with and gives you the right to let them go.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. This one is hard because we all love to please others. But sometimes saying no will actually protect them from failure.
- Lead your clients, don’t be condescending to them. Just because you understand a concept they are having a hard to getting doesn’t mean you are superior. It simply means you haven’t communicated it clear enough or their eyes haven’t been opened yet. Stay humble and helpful.
- Don’t take sole credit for your ideas, share the wealth. Clients may not hear the stories you tell to friends in your network, but you do. And taking all the credit shows your true character. Be proud of you work but always recognize it was a team effort even if you pulled 95% of the load.
- View your role as a bridge to understanding. Your role is to problem solve and help others no matter what industry you are in. Many times people are afraid of new ideas or change and need someone to take their hand and walk them across slowly.
- Be intentionally positive. If you are having a good day, one negative word from a client can throw your game off. And if you are having a bad day then your clients will notice quickly based on how you run the meeting. Positive attitude is a choice. Refuse to let it be dictated by your emotional state.
Mistakes are a part of life and running a business. Hopefully you can learn from some of the ones we’ve made, but never fear making a mistake or trying too hard to avoid one. Everyone is trying to do their best to help their companies succeed. But when you run a client meeting, your job is simply to serve with as much love, passion, devotion, integrity, honesty and transparency as you can.
Do these things and you’ll have successful meetings that lead to productivity increases instead of emotional strains.