How To Conduct A Successful Home Office Meeting With Clients (Virtually And In-office)?
The ability to conduct a successful home office meeting is a learnable skill. It is an important element that can spur the growth of your business. Do it poorly however and your business can come crashing down fast. This makes many think about "How to conduct a successful home meeting with clients both virtually and in-office?""
You can conduct a successful virtual or in-office meeting with your clients by settling on the most suitable technologies and software to be used. You can also use visuals to reinforce the message you are trying to put across. Another great way is to share the agenda of the meeting way ahead of time.
The benefits of a productive meeting, whether virtual or in-office, are unlimited. You can get more clients, more business and realize a lot more growth.
This post aims to provide a clear insight into the tips you can use to conduct productive meetings with your clients. It will arm you with strategies that will ensure you can navigate the murky waters of holding both successful virtual and in-office meetings. The main goal of doing this is to enable you to get more business for your company. As a result, you will realize the growth of your company and consequently an increased awareness of your brand.
Today, a huge chunk of our interactions leverage a mix of both virtual technologies and the traditional modes of meeting and networking. Virtual avenues and technology are very essential in the way businesses conduct their overall operations. Apart from relying solely on the "ancient" methods of handling important aspects of doing business, virtual technology is used to great effect as well. Here, we shall explore some of the ways you can seamlessly both ways to conduct successful meetings.
Tips on Meeting a Client Face-To- Face
Have a Separate, Appropriately Decorated Space for Meeting With Clients
Depending on your business, having a separate space in your home such as a home office to conduct business is important - you should not be conducting business with clients in the kitchen or living room.
If, for example, you are a travel agent or notary public or financial adviser, you should have a separate office in the house with access to the technology you need to do your job, such as a laptop/desktop, multifunction printer, etc., as well as a comfortable seating arrangement where you and the client can meet face to face or side by side as necessary.
If you are offering a service like hairdressing or massage therapy in your home, you should have a separate studio space for needed equipment such as sinks, chairs, and tables used in your business.
Pay Attention to the Decor
Appropriate decoration of your home business space depends on what you do. Décor that is tasteful, inoffensive, and politically correct is best. You don't want anything distracting or is potentially offensive in your client's view. You want them to focus on you and what you're offering them, not on the things that are in the room.
You also want to make sure your décor creates the professional image you want to project. Your young children's drawings are great if you are running a daycare in your home but not so good if you're trying to impress clients with your professional acumen.
Pay special attention to the condition of your furnishings. Anything that looks tatty, overused, or like it came from a bargain bin somewhere has to go. You want to look successful, not needy.
Keep your Children in Another Room
Children (particularly small ones) should never be greeting clients or interrupting you when you're meeting with clients. However, they may do both of these things if you don't train them not to.
Using a simple 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door of the room you use to meet with clients and telling your children not to knock or enter when the sign is on the doorknob can be very effective. They don't need to be able to read to know if the sign is there or not.
If you want to make exceptions where it's okay to interrupt you when you're working, give the clear instructions like, "you can interrupt Mommy when she's working if something bad happens" but "you can interrupt Mommy when she's working if there's a fire."
Containing Your Pets
Many people love animals — but that doesn't mean all your clients will unless you are running a pet grooming business. Some will be afraid of them. Some will have allergies. Others just plain won't like them. If your home includes pets, you need to make sure they are under control when you are expecting clients.
For example, if you have a dog that tends to bark or bound to the door when the bell rings then contain it elsewhere in your house or on the property for the duration of the client visit.
Because many people have allergies to pet hair, you should try to eliminate the risk as much as possible in the spaces your clients will visit by regular vacuuming and cleaning. If possible, you may want to keep your pets out of your home office at all times to cut down on the problem.
Ensure Cleanliness Of Your Meeting Space
A clean place is always impressive to all. Providing your clients with a neat and clean space would work for them. If your space/room is untidy and unclean with specks of dust, scattered with things here and there, dirty with spilled spots of old coffee and tea or your client could get disgusted and reduce their perception of your ability to work with them.
You make sure to clean the office room and arrange it properly before your clients arrive.
Tips on Meeting Clients Virtually
Keeping participants engaged and ensuring fruitful collaboration is a particularly tough challenge in remote meetings. So, how can you increase buy-in from virtual meeting participants? Actively ask a specific person a particular question and proactively call on people to share their opinion.
This active and addressed communication has three main advantages in virtual meetings:
- People pay more attention as they do not want to be caught off-guard
- Introverts also engage in conversations and actively share their opinions
- The moment of multiple people answering at the same time after a long silent break can be avoided
Here Are Some Tips To Remember:
A successful online meeting with your client is essential for the growth of a firm or business. It is by no means an easy feat. However, there are some tips that when done right, can offer you the chance to hold a great online meeting with your client.
1. Use visual content and graphics.
One best practice is to try to leverage the amazing effects of using visual content and graphics. Your client, just like any other human, is a visual creature. Therefore, they will more likely be able to remember a lot of information shared to them during your online meeting if you use visuals. With this, you will be able to create a meeting session that is memorable and informative because of the high engagement with your client!
2. Turn on your webcam
Turn on your webcam boosts communication with your client since they will also be able to "read" your non-verbal cues and engage better with you.
3. Focus on your client
Another awesome practice that will ensure a smooth interaction between you and your client is to focus on your client. This is a very effective yet a very underrated strategy that can make your meeting so productive. Always look straight into the camera whenever you are talking to your client during your virtual meeting.
4. Be a good listener
It is also important to practice the art of active listening especially when your client is talking to you or sharing their thoughts regarding your topic of discussion. Your client will can pick this out-that you are fully invested in the meeting and will therefore be able to engage with you more.
Though virtually, you have created the feeling of a face-to-face conversation with your client that will go a long way in helping you to establish a personal rapport with this client. It will build up a connection with your client. As we know, a close and personalized interaction with a client is one of the most ancient tricks of making a sale. Therefore, never appear distracted when meeting with your client online!
5. Choose the right technology.
No virtual meeting can exist without technology. There are numerous video conferencing solutions on the market, and while plenty of them have the same set of features (audio and video communication, screen sharing, chat boxes, recording options), the options available and user interface might make or break your virtual meetings with customers.
With the right solution implemented, it's crucial that you first make sure you have all of the kinks figured out well before your virtual meeting. You want your customer meeting to run as smoothly as possible. To make sure that happens you need to identify any issues beforehand. Run a test meeting with a coworker, and then a friend or colleague at an external business. Any problem you can think of that might present itself, should be solved promptly. There will always be things you can't control, but it's important to be as prepared as possible.
6. Pick the right background setting.
A simple yet effective tip for running a virtual meeting with a client is to carefully choose the setting in which you hold it on your end. If you decided that holding the virtual meeting was necessary, there will likely be discussion involved, and you don't want to miss out on anything because you were in a noisy environment.
Within your home, find a quiet, carpeted room (hardwood floors can tend to make meeting audio echo and difficult to understand). Sit in front of a neutral background so the meeting goers on the other end aren't distracted. Make sure the lighting in the room isn't too bright that it's a bother, but not too dim that it puts everyone to sleep.
Again, some things are out of your control, like random family members entering the room or a loud plane flying overhead. But preparing in every way you can make the situation all the better.
7. Prepare Adequately.
Some people might think that because you aren't standing physically in front of your client, it relieves some of the pressure. While this may be true, this in no way means you shouldn't prepare. If anything, you should put more effort into these virtual client meetings – it's harder to woo someone through a screen than in person.
If you're qualifying a customer to see what solution might be best for them, make sure you have all of your lead qualifying questions and pain point discussion topics ready to go. Or if you're giving a product demonstration, you are going to need to nail those value statements.
8. Be picky with your guest list
Another part of preparing for a virtual client meeting is determining who should and shouldn't be involved. Be picky with your guest list. Virtual meetings often involve some awkwardness and a lot of interruptions. Don't invite people from your business that aren't essential to the conversation.
9. Set a clear time limit
Finally, consider how long the meeting should take and keep in mind the varying time zones. It is best to keeping the meeting within everyone's work hours if possible. Also be prepared for any potential technical issue you might run into.
In conclusion, the above tips are merely pointers that should help you set up an amazing meeting with your clients the next time out. Virtual technology should not be used as a substitute for the traditional modes of meeting.
It has been widely suggested that a fusion of the two will work best. That integration is what will give you the unrivaled capability to constantly conduct great meetings. The tips we have shared above should help you to achieve this no matter what type of meeting you wish to hold.