Later this week I start mentoring some young budding entrepreneurs and their immediate question was about how to talk to and interact with clients. So here’s some basics.
It’s not a job interview
I think mentally when you go into client meetings as young person, you’re only exposure to persuading someone to hire you is in job interviews where the balance of power tends to be a little one sided. This means that many young entrepreneurs tend to go into pitch meeting with the mind set that they have to overcome objections and persuade the client. Obviously there is an element of this, but It’s important to remember that this is a two ways street.
The balance of power is more equal. It’s as much about getting an understanding of what the client wants, and whether this client will be easy to work with as it is the other way around and certainly any meeting where you avoid those nightmare clients before they become nightmare clients is a valuable one.
On the job
Cogs and Calls
It’s important to remember where you sit in the scheme of things. Having contact with the person with ultimate sign off is vital, but its important to consider who else needs to be informed and how your work has impact. As an example if you’re working on a project with someone else’s client, its important to copy them in to every communication. If you promise deadlines, or if problems occur obviously you need to tell your contact before the end client.
We said things
Getting things in writing is always important. Even if you’ve just had a 4 hour call about what colour blue something should be, you always have to email them to get confirmation. This saves you a lot of arguments later down the line.
Push or Pushing
Easily one of the hardest aspects is communication in sales in judging how serious a prospect is and how often you should call them. Possibly this is a subject for another blog, but the key thing here is that you should be in charge of the time table “could I call you back on…” and not to waste your time on cold leads.
Keep it friendly, keep it professional and remember that you’re not there to do favours for people.