So, you have spent a long time drawing up business plans, securing finance and now you are ready to take on clients. It is a tough market out there, whatever industry you are in, so how do you go about attracting potential clients, and more importantly, impressing them?
Here, we look at some of the ways that you can impress potential clients so that they choose you to do business with. Ready to learn more?
Show them that you have done your research
One of the fastest ways to lose a potential client is to show them you have not done your research. Before you meet with them, spend some time doing some thorough reading around them. Find out the name of the person you are meeting with and any particular achievements or successes they are associated with. LinkedIn is an excellent place to find out about someone in the corporate world. Taking the time to get to know people before a meeting is a sign of a business that truly cares about details.
Think about what you can offer them
As we mentioned above, business really is a cut-throat business so being clear about what makes you stand out from the crowd and what choosing you can do for them is essential. Potential clients want to see confidence and knowledge of the field, so this is not the time to be modest.
Make your initial meeting comfortable
First impressions count, so make sure that your first meeting is comfortable and professional. Don’t take them to a shabby back room and give them mugs from the staff cupboard and the leftover biscuits. Have a clean and professional meeting room with comfortable seating and a table. Have fresh water, tea and coffee and branded mugs, and perhaps a slice of cake or some fresh fruit. Sweeten them up – quite literally!
Take them out for lunch or dinner
Some business owners prefer to wine and dine potential client. Of course, this can be expensive, but depending on your client and your line of business, this may be the norm. If you do this, choose somewhere that is quiet so that you can have a professional discussion without having to shout over loud music. It is also a good idea to let the staff at the restaurant know that it is a business meeting – they may have a table that is more suitable or only interrupt you when you give the signal.
Thank your client
You have to be very careful to be seen not to be bribing potential customers or clients into doing your business with you, as this is both morally and legally very questionable. However, there is nothing wrong with sending a small ‘thank you for your time’ gift – a bottle of wine, a hamper of fruit or other corporate food gifts are always a good option.
Above all, remain professional whether you meet them face to face or discuss business on the phone or via email. By staying professional and showing them you are the best choice for their business, you will not fail to impress them.