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5 Tips for Meeting New Clients

        Money | Work Life

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Take Notes
If nothing else, make sure you listen to everything your client says.
If nothing else, make sure you listen to everything your client says.
Steve McAllister Productions/Getty Images

Never forget that the main goal of meeting with a new client is to listen. It doesn't matter if the client is an inspiring innovator or a complete bore -- pretend that every word out of his mouth is pure gold. Make a show of taking out a notepad or opening your laptop computer to take notes. Columnist Barry Farber, writing for Entrepreneur.com, suggests that you even ask, "Do you mind if I take notes" [source: Farber]? Just watch your client sit up taller in his or her seat.

For most people, the easiest way to take notes is to use a computer. To keep your notes organized, try to enter information in outline form or at least bullet-points under separate headers. If you bring more than one person to the meeting, have one team member be the assigned note-taker so the others can engage more fully with the client.

If you're the only person from your team, be careful not to bury your head in your computer while the client is talking. Try to make frequent eye contact and bounce back supportive statements like "Good point," or "That's important to know." If you have questions, write them in your notes and wait until the client has finished talking to ask them.

Your work isn't over when the meeting ends. Keep the working relationship rolling with a courteous and professional follow-up e-mail.