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5 Tips for Meeting New Clients

        Money | Work Life

4
Set an Agenda
You should prepare an agenda for the meeting -- and be prepared to throw it out if necessary.
You should prepare an agenda for the meeting -- and be prepared to throw it out if necessary.
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A meeting without an agenda is like an orchestra without a conductor. An agenda sets the expectations of the meeting, establishes and orderly flow and helps everyone understand his or her roles.

A day before the meeting, e-mail a short agenda to everyone who'll be in attendance. It doesn't have to be detailed. It can be a spare outline or a simple bullet-point list that includes the main points to be covered and tasks to accomplish [source: Entity]. This might also be a good opportunity to introduce your team members to the client. Link to full bios on your Web site or include a short blurb about each team member, as well as his or her job title and responsibilities. Again, this will help the client know what to expect when you walk in the door.

Remember, though, that an agenda isn't written in stone (it's barely written on paper). Start the meeting by addressing each point on the agenda in the order you've suggested. But if the client wants to talk about the last point first, let him or her do it. If the client wants to talk about something completely different, however, be prepared to ditch the agenda altogether. Again, the main goal of this meeting is to listen to the client. If the agenda doesn't help you meet that goal, scrap it.

When the day of the meeting arrives, it's time to put on your best face (and shirt and tie). Keep reading for important tips on professionalism.


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