Regardless of your industry, or even your position in a business, meeting with clients, particularly for the first time, can be very nerve-wracking. Successful client meetings may define your livelihood, and it’s easy to feel a sense of nervousness and apprehension about them, but you don’t want that to be apparent during the meeting.
You want your current or potential client to view you as confident and competent, not nervous and unsure of yourself.
Believe it or not, there are small changes you can make to convey more confidence during your next client meeting, whether it’s the first one, or you’ve met the person before.
Research Your Client
The more you know about the client and their business, the more prepared you’re going to feel going into a meeting. You should approach every client meeting like a job interview, and if you were going to an interview for a new position, you would likely do some in-depth research on the company.
Do the same for each of your clients.
Clients want to feel valued, and they will if you take the time to research them, but it will also give you an advantage regarding preparation and being able to anticipate their needs.
It should also be noted that a client is meeting with you in the first place because they view you as an expert in something, and they need you. By knowing about them in advance, you’ll solidify the perspective that you are indeed an expert.
Look the Part
In today’s business world there tends to be blurred lines in terms of dressing professionally. This can be particularly true if you have a home business or a startup. You may be used to wearing jeans and a T-shirt to work every day, but for client meetings, you should try to up your game a bit.
Dress professionally, and remember small details such as styling your hair. It sounds silly, but the better you look, the better you’ll feel, and that confidence will show.
Be There Early
If you’re meeting outside of your office, make sure you get to the meeting place early. This isn’t just to impress your client in terms of your punctuality.
This gives you a chance to sit down, organize your portfolio or items you brought to the meeting and prepare your thoughts.
If you’re rushing and scrambling to get to a meeting, that’s going to make you seem disorganized and flustered, which also diminishes confidence.
Don’t Give Yourself Anything to Fidget with
If you’re someone who tends to fidget when nervous, take the possible distractions away during your meeting. Put your phone away in your bag, and only keep out the necessities of what you have to show the client.
Also, avoid behaviors that show nervousness, such as crossing your arms.
Meeting with clients is undoubtedly stressful, but it’s important to prepare, physically and mentally, in order to create the sense that you are confident and competent.