Archives for February 2023

How to Nail Your Next Client Intro

Remote work in some capacity is here to stay. But with the freedom of casual clothing and a short commute to your home workstation comes great responsibility. Yes, things have become more laid back with remote work, but making a good first impression is important to cultivate strong business relationships built on respect, trust, and reputation.

Whether you have an introductory meeting with a prospective client or you’re kicking off a new project remotely, preparing your headspace and your physical space will ensure every conversation starts off on the right foot. Here are some tips to maintain professionalism, nail intro meetings, and set up new client relationships for success.

Set up a quiet location without background noise

This sounds obvious. However, some people overlook or get lax with this piece of preparation, especially in today’s remote culture. Every call should be scheduled with 100% commitment and held in an ideal setting. Hosting a call or meeting with a new client in an unpredictable environment, such as an airport or while driving, is not a risk worth your reputation. 

A controlled, quiet location guarantees concentration and clear communication for the client. If you’re doing video, test-run your technology to ensure your feed, sound, and lighting work, and use a backdrop and additional lighting if needed. Scheduled meeting times aren’t when you want to discover your set-up isn’t adequate or that software updates need to be downloaded.  

Do your homework

A good consultant performs ample due diligence before meeting a new client. Research should always include basic knowledge of the client, both the individual you’re meeting with (if you know who you’re meeting with), the company, and their industry. Earn conversation points by arming yourself with relevant industry trends and challenges so you can confidently speak to their pain points. 

If someone is setting up the call for you, such as a delivery partner or agency, don’t hesitate to ask for a prep call. At 10K, it’s our priority to make sure every expert is prepped and confident for their new client intros. 

Master a 1-minute elevator pitch

Like resumes, your elevator pitch shouldn’t be one size fits all. It should be tailored and tweaked for every client intro and the needs you are hoping to solve. 

Take the first 30 seconds to discuss your overall career background and 30 seconds to highlight your skills as they relate to the client’s project/industry. Outline a relevant example or two to demonstrate how your experience is a value-add. For example, “For a financial services client, I performed XYZ; for a technology start-up I performed XYZ which increased LMNOP and decreased QRS, surpassing client expectations.” 

Offer metrics when you can and advocate for your skills – clients want to know you can be an effective partner and help solve their problems! To master the delivery of your elevator pitch, write it down and practice it over and over until it feels natural. Practice will help you answer ‘so tell me a little about yourself” in the most effective, professional way.

Get your mind and your body right 

Seasoned public speakers, salespeople, and business leaders know that getting camera ready entails more than what’s on the surface – it includes getting into a positive state of mind. 

In a now famous TED Talk (with over 65 million views and counting), social psychologist Amy Cuddy promotes “power posing” as research-backed techniques that decrease cortisol (the stress hormone) and increases testosterone, the hormone connected to confidence, in the body. 

Train your brain to be assertive, confident, and comfortable in just 2-3 minutes by trying one of two simple power poses: 

  1. “The Executive” – mimic a business executive at their desk by leaning back in your seat with your feet resting on a table and your arms folded behind your head. 
  2. “Wonder Woman” – stand in the traditional Wonder Woman stance with your legs shoulder-width apart, chest out, and your arms placed on your waist. 

Powerful and easy to do, power posing is a quick way to boost confidence and reduce stress before important calls or meetings. 

Practice soft skills

Listen first

A great consultant listens with the intention to pick up verbal and non-verbal messages. Ask questions for clarity and provide feedback to prove you heard and understood what the client said.  

An active listener can hear what’s not being said by listening between the lines, such as a shift in tone or body language. Picking up what the client doesn’t say is an advanced communication skill that helps make a difference in complex problem-solving.  

Be humble

It’s important to present yourself as an expert, and that means showing authority on your skillset. However, there is a fine line between confidence and condescendence. How you ask questions and comment on the client’s situation matters, and being humble will help make them feel heard, supported, and respected. 

For example, tame your surprise and reserve judgment if you don’t agree with an approach they have taken in the past or don’t understand how their organization/processes are currently set up. Instead of saying, “Oh, so why did you wait until now to implement Marketing Cloud?” offer them support with, “You’re making a great first step toward leveling up your XYZ with Marketing Cloud.”

Customer service should be the driving focus of every conversation.

Practice empathy

Clients sometimes express or show frustration while describing their business problems, especially in initial conversations and discovery. Let them know you are invested in solving their challenges and adjust your tone and body language accordingly. It takes vulnerability to admit there’s a problem and ask for help and giving clients your empathy can make a lasting impact. 

Wrap it up right

How you end a meeting is as important as how you start it. A solid ‘wrap-up’ will demonstrate your comprehension of the client’s needs, highlight your value proposition and expertise, identify misunderstandings, illuminate ambiguity, and define actionable takeaways and next steps.

To make this habit second nature, keep a wrap-up checklist on hand that you can easily refer to at the end of meetings. This could include:

  1. Provide a high-level recap of the conversation
  2. Outline the next steps for both parties 
  3. Express gratitude for their time and the opportunity to meet  
  4. Ask for any final questions or comments 

With time and discipline, the actions outlined above will help you walk into every client call with confidence and an open mind. Following these steps will also help build trust and mutual respect – as we’ve all heard many times before, treat someone how you would want to be treated. 

If you’re a Salesforce expert looking to learn more about how our people run successful client calls or are interested in working with us, contact us here.