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5 Tips for Meeting New Clients

        Money | Work Life

3
Make a Professional Impression

The first meeting with a new client is not the time to be yourself. Instead, be your most courteous, polite and professional self. It starts with your clothes. Even if you work at the most casual office in the world, bump it up a notch or two for the client meeting. Skirts, slacks and ties show that you take the client seriously. So does arriving on time. Never make the client wait!

Turn on the charm as soon as you walk in the door. Be polite and friendly to everyone you meet in the office, from receptionists to interns [source: Farber]. You never know whose opinion counts and who can be your advocate down the line. If you come with other team members, don't joke loudly or badmouth other clients while waiting for the meeting to begin.

Show respect for your client's time and attention. Before jumping into the meeting, re-establish the time frame you proposed in the agenda [source: Farber]. "Is two hours still all right?" It's a simple act of professional courtesy that speaks volumes.

If you want to maintain that professional attitude, avoid the following "don'ts":

  • Don't eat during the meeting, unless it's a lunch meeting.
  • Don't answer your cell phone. In fact, shut it off.
  • Don't text or e-mail.
  • Don't whisper to your teammates while the client is talking.
  • Don't appear tired or distracted.

A great way to stay engaged in the conversation and boost the client's ego is to take notes. Learn why on the next page.