What should you do to prepare for your first prospective client meeting?

Originally published by Carmen MacDougall in MARCH 2012 – the tips shared in this post are as relevant today as they were then: “I was inspired to write this tip as one of my super duper VA Mastery Course trainees has done so well in getting her first meeting, and she is only two thirds of the way into the training, this is how very focussed and motivated she is…I am so proud!

OK are you nervous It’s OK to feel this, I think sometimes we feel that we must not feel nervous but actually a little nerves helps us to be on our toes and perform to our peak. So relax its OK!

Sometimes you could be nervous as you have had no or little experience, or you are not too sure what you should be covering in a meeting or telephone consultation of this kind.

Prep is Key!

Follow these basic guidelines to help you prepare for your first meeting/call with a prospective client:

  1. Research

It does not create a good impression turning up for your first meeting not knowing anything about the person who could potentially be providing you with some fee earning work. It creates an impression of lack of planning skills and even interest if you ask them What is your business and tell me about yourself!!!

Find out as much as you can about their business, Google them and see what information comes up.

Learn what they do as a service or what product they sell; who are their clients or niche market even.  Look to see if they have a page on their website which describes their clients comments or has testimonials so you can get a feel about the quality of their work.

Where are they located Is their business local to your based elsewhere

Are they a member of any industry related associations? You can often note this from links on their site.

Do they have associates featured on their site?

Are there any links to the networking groups they are a member of unless you know this because you have met them or been referred to them by someone in their network group.

Look at their Twitter and Face book account to find out what they share and who they are connected to.

Wow this seems a lot of research I here you state. Well I am not asking you to-do hour and hours or research, just skim the surface so that it gives you an impression of you who may be working with, an impression of the work they do to establish if there is a synergy with the type of clients you want to or already work with.

  1. Think about what they may require from you

Never spend loads of time guessing, however, if they are in your niche market you will already have very good understanding of what they do, the way they work, the areas they may struggle in and most importantly, the type of specific services that would add value to their business

Start to make a short list of what you would imagine they may find useful

Create a small bullet point list for your purpose only to identify the value of those services such as, if you were to believe email management or client liaison would be useful to them, how would that add value to their business and what would that enable them to do instead

  1. Prepare and send your profile:
  • This should be branded and not longer than one page of A4 as people do not have time to read reams of information
  • Avoid sending a CV as you are not applying for a job you are stating how you are an outstanding VA to work with and the results you will help them to achieve
  • Start off your profile with your photo as it is easy to connect with people if they see your photo especially if they do not get to meet you (although there is video Skype or Zoom folks!)
  • Identify in bullet format briefly the typical areas your clients are struggling with then the results and value you add to your clients’business briefly
  • Summarise VERY briefly with headings your services, avoid long lists and keep it relevant and simple
  • Add a brief bio
  • Add your fees ensuring you state the value as well as the feature benefits
  • Then end this with your contact information including your social networking ids.
  1. Communicate and Confirm Prior to Your Meeting/Call

When you have confirmed your meeting send an email to confirm this with details and links of how to get to the venue you are meeting at or links to your Skype ID or who is calling who.

Three days before the consultation send them your profile and summarise how you will conduct the meeting, how long it will be and the aim. I would also go as far as the outcome you hope to achieve.

I would also suggest some of the areas you wish them to start thinking about so that they have some answers prepared and allows for a more in-depth conversation.

A comment had been made to me by many of my VA clients that they found the consultation very relevant, non-salesman like, very focussed on the client and their proposed outcomes and very professional. Indeed 90% of my consultations have led to a client conversion.

If you want to ensure you are conducting pre-client consultations effectively in order to be more successful in converting clients as part of this process, then find out about the VA Business Booster Days or The VA Mastery Programme to be an outstanding and profitable VA.”

For more info and advice regarding client consultations read the following blogs:

“Things to consider in a new client consultation” – https://www.vact.co.uk/things-consider-new-client-consultation/

“Top tips to confidently handle client consultations” – https://www.vact.co.uk/top-tips-confidently-handle-client-consultations/