Running your client meetings the right way is essential to thriving as a successful business. When we started Soulheart, we had our idea of how our client meetings would run. But all that was thrown out the window after the very first meeting!
Here are 8 things we’ve learned along the way:
- Always expect the unexpected. Plans matter, but nothing goes according to them.
- Set boundaries up front. People respect when you do this, but they won’t know to follow them unless you communicate them.
- Give quality advice and recommendations. Holding back is simply selfish and bad practice. Holding back for money is even worse. If a client takes an idea and profits from it without giving you credit (unfortunately, this is too often the case), that lets you know the type of company you are working with. It gives you the right to let the client go.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. This one is hard because we all love to please others. However, sometimes saying “no” will actually protect them from failure.
- Lead your clients, don’t be condescending to them. Just because you understand a concept they are having a hard time with doesn’t mean that you are superior. Instead, it simply means you haven’t communicated it clearly enough or that their eyes haven’t been opened yet. Stay humble and helpful.
- Don’t take sole credit for your ideas, share the wealth. Clients may not hear the stories you tell to friends in your network, but we all tell stores. Taking all the credit for successes shows your true character. Be proud of your work, but always recognize it’s a team effort, even if you pulled 95% of the load.
- View your role as a bridge to understanding. Regardless of your specific industry, your role is to problem solve and help others. Many times, people are afraid of new ideas or change and need someone to take their hand and walk them across slowly. Be that person.
- Be intentionally positive. Even if you are having a good day, a single negative word from a client can throw your game off. If you are having a bad day, then your clients will notice all too quickly based on how you run their meetings. Having a positive attitude is a choice. Refuse to let it be dictated by your emotional state.
Mistakes are a part of life and running a business. We hope that you can learn from some of the ones we’ve made. However, never fear making a mistake or trying too hard to avoid one. Everyone is trying to do his or her best to help their companies succeed. When you run a client meeting, your job is simply to serve with as much love, passion, devotion, integrity, honesty, and transparency as you can.
Do these eight things and you’ll have successful meetings that lead to productivity increases instead of emotional strains.