If you’ve been following along with our content, you are familiar with this mantra: social media is a complement to in-person interaction, not a replacement for it. The thing is, for most people, using social media is way easier than talking to someone face-to-face. Birthday texts and Facetiming are lovely, but technology can’t replace seeing a close friend in person and giving them a hug or holding your newborn niece instead of seeing her on a screen. Shifting your focus to concentrate on your online audience can affect offline interactions, and sometimes meetings aren’t as successful as they could be. Read on to learn how to have better client meetings.
1. Do your research
Before you meet with a potential client, knowing a little something about them is helpful. If they were referred by someone, ask that person about them. Do you have friends in common or overlap professionally?
No research scenario: Hi, Billy! Thanks for meeting with me. Was it Kim that introduced us?
Research scenario: Hi, Billy! It’s nice to see meet you. I’m so glad Kim referred you to me. I hear we are both training for the marathon.
See the difference? In the no research scenario, you and Billy are still effectively strangers. Nothing is setting you apart from someone he finds by Googling “insurance agents near me.” In the research scenario, you’ve instantly reminded Billy that you aren’t strangers. In fact, you have a friend in common AND you can bond over your shared passion of running marathons. You’re already building trust and ranking much higher than anyone Billy may come across while scanning those Google results.
2. Send a reminder
We’re all busy people with full calendars. Staying organized is the key to make sure your schedule stays on track and not overbooked. Send an email, text, call, Facebook message– whatever your client prefers–a day or two before the meeting. Make sure they know where the meeting is, what time, and how long you expect it to last. If they need to bring anything with them, this is a great time to remind them of that paperwork. Finally, let them know how much you’re looking forward to it and reinforce this meeting is a good use of their time.
3. Talk some, listen more
Ask questions to learn about what they are looking for. Do they need quotes for multiple insurance verticals? Have they had a recent or major life change?Interject your thoughts and opinions when it’s appropriate, especially if they ask for your input. Be sure you talk budget upfront so expectations are set and managed. Taking notes will ensure you remember everything correctly and shows the potential client you are working to get them what they want.
Use these cut-and-paste templates for easier than ever client communication.
4. Pay attention
This may seem like a no-brainer, but in a world where people spend 3-5 hours a day on their phones, this is a real problem! If you are expecting an urgent call that you can’t reschedule, let your client know ahead of time. Otherwise, act like you are at the movies: silence your ringer, place your screen face down, or better yet, keep your phone safely stowed away.
5. Be prepared
You want this potential client to gain your trust and see why you’re the right person to handle this important decision.Have all of the necessary paperwork or research needed ready to share. Show up to your meeting on time, or better yet, a few minutes early. This is especially important if you don’t have a dedicated office. When you use restaurants, coffee shops, and other public spaces to meet, you never know if the place will be jam-packed. Get to your meeting spot early and you’ll make it that much easier for your client to walk right in and talk business.
6. Be respectful of time
We all have unexpected things happen to us. But when those surprises happen and affect somebody else’s time and schedule, it’s important to immediately contact the client and apologize for the inconvenience. When you arrive, take a deep breath and exhale some of that frazzled energy before walking in. If you are genuinely apologetic, they should understand. Then, keep the meeting within the agreed upon time window unless the client offers to continue the meeting. Your schedule hiccup should not have a domino effect on someone else’s day.
7. Follow up
The end of your client meeting is just the beginning of your client conversation. Send them a thank you email with the highlights of your meeting included. It could look something like this:
Thanks again for your time today. Based on our conversation, I’ll be looking for home insurance for you and renter’s insurance for your daughter. I’ll also be looking at a group auto insurance plan for all three of you. If I’m missing anything, or if you have any changes to your home buying timeline, please let me know. I’ve included my contact information below.
Looking forward to working with you!
By sending this note, you reiterate that you’re attentive and ready to work for your client. You’ve also set a plan to continue the client conversation and made it easier for your client to reach out to you by sharing all of your contact info, including those social media buttons.
Keeping in touch with clients can be very challenging when you’re juggling multiple people in various stages of the buying process. OutboundEngine helps you stay top-of-mind by regularly sending relevant content to your network, tracking engagement, and showing you who is ready for a conversation. Schedule a demo today and see how OutboundEngine can take this time-consuming task off your plate.