So, you have been met with maybe some good news that a potential client has contacted you for a personal and professional meeting to discuss how you can help them or how they can help you or offer you a service. Before we get started, it is important to note that this advice can be taken and applied to a meeting with any professional for legal advice. Whether you are holding a council with a family lawyer over a will or attempting to find the perfect intern to join your legal team, this advice can help.
It can be kind of scary knowing that you have to go and meet face to face with this other person who has something that can offer you the opportunity to grow. You may worry about how to start the conversation or how you can get it across that you are the perfect one to help them better themselves. It will all depend on what the meeting is about and what it entails. If it is a first time meeting between the two or so parties then you want to appear professional. However, if you continue to have meetings to discuss updates like news, new additions or hindrances the tone can be more casual as you have already impressed them with the first meeting as it has already continued this far.
Don’t let the fear wreck your chances before you even get there, remember that you are valuable and have something that this person needs or wants.
Before the meeting comes organise your thoughts so the meeting can run smoothly. Keep calm and think about how you are going to keep your nerves in check.
Double-check the details
Don’t let yourself be late. Always double check the time and the place of the meeting so you can scope out the place ahead of time to know where you can park your car and what it costs to do so and most importantly where to find your trusty coffee to calm those nerves! You can send a reminder to the client to remind them of the time and location which you can do via an email or message and don’t forget to tell them how much you are looking forward to communicating with them later on. It is also a handy tip to make an event through your online calendar, this will automatically send a reminder to each party that is attending the party.
Dress for success
Know whether it is a casual tone for the meeting or more professional as what you wear to the meeting will set the tone from the get go. How do you want the client to end up perceiving you? If there is haggling to be done don’t overdress as they are less likely to haggle with someone who looks like they already have everything they want/need. If it is a professional meeting then rocking up with an everyday purse and sunglasses might not work.
Prepare your materials
Whether it is a casual or professional meeting you still need to be prepared the same way and utilise a variety of interpersonal skills. Here are a other few tips to prepare:
- Have everything pre-loaded on a tablet or laptop
- Have some paper and pens if you need to take notes or write something down for the client
- Have a business card on hand to give to the client
- Practice your pitch beforehand
- Have a mock meeting with the mirror or a friend
- Remember to respect both employee privacy and client privacy
- Outline what is important and what impacts employability skills
- Remember to offer employment support to any potential clients
Meeting your potential client
The day has come, and it is important to be there 10 mins early. Walk in with a good posture and leave the right hand free to shake hands if the client is already there waiting. Your client can also set the tone if the walk in more dressed in suits a briefcase and top-notch shoes then you know to keep your tone at a professional level. If one walks in just in basic clothing and a stack of papers without the briefcase it is safe to drop a joke or two throughout the session and go for a more casual mood.
Once you have a grasp on the clients tone you will know how to sell yourself. If they are professional, you may need to look for that wow factor you’ve got and present that to the client but if the client is very casual just giving them a run down about why they should choose you should be enough.
So, there you have it. The many aspects that factor into planning a professional or casual meeting with any potential clients. As you can see, planning a meeting is just as important as the meeting itself.