10 Easy Tricks To Improve Your In-Person Client Interactions
The first impression your client or prospective client gets of you can decide on whether or not they hire you, or whether or not they trust you. It is very important to make a good impression during every interaction you have. Following a few simple tips on professionalism and etiquette can make a big difference in creating an experience that will leave clients happy and confident in their decision to work with you.
1. Dress for success.
It is important to dress well and present a clean and somewhat formal appearance. Depending on your type of business this can range from a suit to a nice pair of jeans and blouse. You want to present yourself as a leader and a professional while showing continuity in your brand aesthetic. Also, keep a glass of water on hand for yourself to mitigate dry mouth from nervousness. Popping a breath mint can be helpful too.
Be sure to show interest in your client and what they’re saying. Be engaged in the conversation and invested in what they are saying. You can display your attentiveness by looking them in they eye, laughing at their jokes, and interjecting validating commentary when appropriate.
3. Make good eye contact.
Look your client in the eye when you shake their hand, when you’re speaking to them or being spoken to. It shows you are engaged, interested, and confident.
4. Smile, a lot!
Be sure to smile a lot. This conveys you are happy and enjoying the interaction. It also portrays you as friendly and easy to work with.
5. Offer them coffee or water, every time.
If your client is coming to your office, treat them like an honored guest in your home. Offer them coffee, water, or anything else within reason, that will ensure their comfort.
6. Always shake hands or if appropriate, hug.
When you greet your client, give them a handshake if it’s your first meeting. Once you have build a little rapport, it’s ok to give them a short hug or pat on the back.
7. Be friendly, but not TOO friendly.
Short of a handshake when first meeting, it’s best to avoid touching them unless you have established a little more of a personal rapport where a hug or pat on the back would be appropriate. Be respectful of people's personal space.
8. Watch your body language.
Keep an awareness of your body language. Try to avoid coming off as too shy, too aggressive, or angry. Avoid actions that may indicate you are nervous such as shaking a leg, picking a hangnail, looking down, or hunching up. Stand and sit up straight and keep a light expression Present yourself as confident, fun, and happy. Your body language will speak volumes to them, so you want to make sure it's saying the right things!
9. Be mindful of your facial expressions.
Definitely play it cool even if you are upset or frustrated. Avoid frowning or rolling your eyes or anything of that nature.
10. Talk clearly and concisely.
It’s best not to talk too fast and to keep your pace reasonably casual. Keep conversation concise. Avoid being tangential and do check in that they are following what you are saying; especially if you are explaining something to them. Keep personal conversations minimal and anecdotal.
Having in-person meetings can be nerve-wracking, especially with prospective clients. Just keep it cool and collected, you've got this!