There are many things you might hope to accomplish on your first appointment with a new prospect or client. I submit that one of those things is to help them feel at ease with you and your process. Everything you do should work toward reducing their stress level and increasing trust. Another important aspect of your first meeting should be to create “wow.” When you make clients go “wow,” you increase your chances of earning their business and earning introductions quickly in the relationship.
Once you have a client, there are many things you can do to build your referability. But what about before you even meet? Here are 6 very simple things you can do even before the meeting to reduce their stress and begin their “wow.”
- Send them a welcoming note – hand written. In a cordial tone (not formal or stilted), let them know that you are looking forward to the meeting.
- Send them a pre-meeting information kit. Give them directions, parking information, a map, a check list of what they need to bring to the meeting. If you like, you can include your brochure and/or bio.
- You or one of your assistants should call them 1-2 days before the meeting; to confirm the meeting, make sure they’ve found their documents, and clarify directions. (If you are going to their home or place of business, you should still confirm directions. If you have an assistant, it is better to have them make this call. This is the beginning of getting their relationship off to a great start.
- Make them feel welcome. Make sure your receptionist knows who’s about to arrive so they can be greeted by name, “You must be Mr. and Mrs. Smith, here to see Martha Jones.” I know one advisor who reserves the best parking space in the lot for his clients with a small sign – with their name on it. He changes is for every appointment. You can also get a changeable letter sign to welcome them.
- Serve them a beverage of their choice. Have a good selection. Have cookies or other appropriate snack available. I know many offices that have purchased those small cooking baking machines. The office always smells like fresh baked cookies.
- Have your assistant meet your clients first – bringing them a beverage and or walking them to your conference room. While you don’t want to be late for your appointment, there’s value in having your assistant spend a little time with your clients first.
Look, you have a choice. You can wing it when it comes to this process or you can have a simple system. Using a check list will ensure it happens more often or not.