Conversing With Clients: 5 Things To Keep In Mind
May 12, 2016
I hope all of you are finding yourselves in the middle of a productive week. As I have been doing quite a bit of speaking lately, I have had wonderful opportunities to meet and speak with a number of people lately. This made me think of the different ways people approach and converse with one another, and the impact our words have on those around us. This is an especially important topic to focus on when meeting with clients. While I have appreciation and respect for the digital age we live in (you know I love engaging with you online and through social media), I feel nothing can compete with human interaction.
Call me old fashioned, but a one-on-one exchange is a wonderful experience when both parties are present and have prepared for the discussion while remaining open and flexible. Today, I would like to share a few tips I have learned over the years in the hopes they may help you in your own business.
Do Your Research: This goes for all parties. Brides, I am speaking to you as much as I am speaking to planners, designers, and florists. Know as much as you can about the person with whom you are meeting. Have a solid understanding of your own industry and what you can and cannot offer your clients. Brides, write down all of the things you love, like, and dislike in order to help those you are meeting with have a better understanding of your vision and expectations.
Pay Attention To The Presentation of Your Person: This goes beyond polishing up your outfit and extends into your posture and even your tone. Do you give your clients your undivided attention? Do you glance around the room or are you so focused on showing them what you do that your tone seems rushed? Do you smile and nod your head to show you understand them or do you stay frozen? Remember, this is a very personal and emotional experience for your clients. They want to feel understood and supported, not simply sold on an idea.
Avoid “Yes or No” Questions: Closed-ended questions sound like statements and are less likely to be answered in detail or at all. If you’re finding that you’re not getting great answers from your client, take a look at your approach. Ask how they feel about something, why they feel that way, and what they would prefer in place of it, if anything at all. The more details you ask, the more information you both will receive.
Summarize: At the end of a meeting with a client, it is always nice to give a short summary of points you have discussed as well as share your thoughts on the next steps. This not only shows your clients that you have paid attention, but allows space for any miscommunications to be ironed out.
Finally, Give Thanks: After meeting with your client, take a few moments to write a thank you note and send it to them via snail mail. It’s a nice gesture that takes a little extra time, but then again, all things worth doing so do. Don’t they?
Readers: What are some other tips you would like to share when it comes to conversing with your clients?