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Business tips and advice

How to Nail Your First Online Client Meeting

Mike Stuzzi
February 10, 2023
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How to Nail Your First Online Client Meeting

So, you just found a new client and now need to sell yourself. The first online client meeting, even when done virtually, can appear to be a daunting task. Handling it the wrong way can lead to a loss of credibility and, potentially, a dead deal.

If you’re preparing for your first online meeting with a client, you may wonder about the best approach. Regardless of the service you’re offering, the most important thing is that you’re able to make a great impression on your client. This will help you build a strong relationship with them right from the get-go.

Here, we will share 8 of the best tips that can help you nail your first online client meeting.

8 Tips for Nailing Your First Online Client Meeting

Read on to find out how you need to prepare for the online meeting and what to do during the actual session.

1. Research your client in advance

(Image source: Unsplash)

Before you jump into the meeting, make sure to do your due diligence. Try to get a better understanding of their needs and what they’re looking for in order to meet those needs.

By doing the research, you’re able to:

  • Know whether they’re suitable to do business with.
  • Identify what kind of service they’re more interested in or likely need most, assuming you offer a variety of them.
  • Prepare relevant ideas and solutions to present during the meeting.
  • Be more relaxed knowing the client and their requirements better.

There are several ways to gather more information about your client before the meeting. One of the easiest ones is to check their social media pages or website. If it’s a brand, you could also inquire with past workers and partners.

2. Be prepared with an agenda

An online meeting agenda is an outline that highlights the talking points. You should have an agenda pre-prepared that spells out the objectives of the meeting, what topics will be discussed, and how much time will be allocated to each topic.

This allows you to keep control of the conversation and won’t let it meander off-topic. It also shows your client that you’re well prepared for their needs, giving them confidence in your professionalism.

3. Set up the right environment

It’s essential to make sure that your virtual setting is in order before the meeting. You don’t want to be distracted by an echoing room or a slow internet connection while on the call. Moreover, ensure you have the best video calling platform for your and your clients’ needs.

Test and ensure that your audio and video are working properly to not disrupt the flow of things during the meeting. It can be helpful to turn off any notifications from incoming emails or messages to avoid distractions. Also, pick a spot with good lighting, so your client can see you clearly.

4. Practice and rehearse

To make sure that your presentation is flawless, take the time to practice and get familiar with the topics you will discuss in the meeting. Be aware of your tone, facial expressions and hand gestures.

You can even record yourself so you can evaluate your delivery as well as identify areas for improvement. Doing this exercise helps build confidence in your abilities and allows you to spot any issues before going on the call.

5. Be punctual

(Image source: Unsplash)

Punctuality is essential for virtual meetings and speaks volumes about you. It demonstrates that you respect other people’s time, you can meet deadlines, and it also assures others that they can count on you to get the job done.

So, make sure to be on the call at least 5 minutes before it starts. That gives you time to confirm everything is in order and allows for a brief catching-up with your client.

6. Take notes during the meeting

During the meeting, take notes to refer back on. This shows that you’re paying attention and taking their points seriously.

If there are any questions or clarification requests during the meeting, jot them down so you can provide follow-up answers. Also, notes can help you know what agreements have been made and avoid or quickly solve any conflicts that may come after that.

Nowadays, you don’t even need to type or write down notes during meetings. Specific AI transcription tools make your work easier by recording and transcribing your online meetings in real-time. This way, you capture all the essential information without losing any focus of the conversation.

7. Ask questions

One of the purposes of the meeting is to get to know your client better and understand their needs. Don’t forget to ask questions throughout the meeting and give everything you need to determine how best you can help them.

It would be best to prepare a list of questions ahead of time. The more information you have, the better your chances of delivering a successful outcome.

8. Follow up after the meeting

After the meeting, you should follow up with your client by sending them a detailed summary of what you discussed. This confirms agreed-upon points and helps keep everyone on the same page. In addition, don’t forget to thank your client for their time and express your willingness to help in any way possible.

Also, your follow-up email can include a calendar invite to set up the next meeting if you agreed upon it in your first meeting. You can have a booking link for the client to self-book the next appointment using a meeting scheduler like SimplyMeet.me. It’s an easy-to-use platform that integrates with all calendars and helps you easily set up and manage your client meetings.

Mistakes to Avoid During Your First Online Client Meeting

Below are some things to avoid when interacting with your client for the first time in a meeting online.

  • Don’t be too casual or informal: Remember that as much as you need to get a client on your side, this is still business. Avoid being extra friendly in expectation of a better relationship, as this can be misconstrued as unprofessional.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation: As important as it is to get your point across, remember that it’s also the client’s opportunity to express their thoughts and opinions. Refrain from speaking over your client or interrupting them mid-sentence. Listen attentively and give them space to talk before jumping in with your take on things.
  • Avoid going off-topic:  You have to stay on the agenda and avoid straying away from the points that were agreed upon beforehand. Keep discussions on track, and don’t forget to go back to the notes you took during the meeting in order to stay focused.
  • Be mindful of your body language: Our facial expressions and body language speak volumes, even through a screen. Make sure to keep an open posture for the duration of the meeting and nod along with what they’re saying to show that you’re engaged in the conversation.
  • Be careful about your promises:  Have realistic expectations and avoid making promises you can’t fulfil. Failing to meet deadlines or deliver on a promise as agreed can ruin your reputation and cause irreparable damage to the relationship with your client.

Wrapping It up

Your first online client meeting is crucial and sets the tone for future interactions. By taking the right steps, you can ensure that this initial encounter is a success and help build a strong relationship with your client. Taking the time to organize, plan ahead, and present yourself in a professional manner will go a long way in creating an excellent first impression.

Keep in mind that communication and collaboration are key to achieving the desired results. Ensure you listen and engage with your client throughout the meeting. Ask questions when needed, take notes, and follow up afterwards. With these tips in mind, you can ensure that your first online client meeting is a success!

Mike Stuzzi is an online entrepreneur who blogs at MikeStuzzi.com. He publishes helpful guides on starting online businesses, the best business tools to use, and his personal experiences on the site.

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