Tuesday, January 8, 2013
How to Prepare For Your Initial Freelance Business Meeting
Congratulations! You've pitched a potential client and landed a sweet deal to provide your services.
But, don't let all your hard work and creativity stop there.
A face-to-face meeting (when permissible), helps to get relations off to a winning start, allows you to get a good handle on your new client's needs and personality, and enables you to work more efficiently.
Though the Internet allows freelancers to conduct online business meetings globally, with folks from Texas to Timbuktu, sometimes local clients prefer interacting in person before any money is exchanged, or deals are finalized and set in stone.
With this being the case, here are a few tips to make the most of your big day.
1. Don't leave anything to memory or chance.
Commit all important details in an email of confirmation. Things like location, time, initial deposit amount required to start project, etc.
2. Have a clear agenda.
Remember, "Time is money". Operating without an agenda can cause time to be lost through small talk, unclear directions, and lack of focus.
3. Turn your cell phone off.
So often, we feel the need to stay "connected" that we forget how distracting it is for others with whom we are engaging in person. If you are expecting an important call, at least put your phone on vibrate.
4. If you are "treating" your new client on your credit card.
Be sure to check the balance before you go to the restaurant to place your order. You wouldn't want to ruin your professional image by having your card rejected for lack of available credit.
5. Dress the part.
Let's face it: one of the coolest things about freelancing from home is that everyday can be "dress down day". Still, when it comes to new clients---business is still business. Make an effort to put on your best attire; you'll feel more confident too.
6. Consider bringing a small gift of thanks.
Things like calendars, magnets, a coffee basket, or decorative pens are a great added touch, and a way to separate you from the competition.
Remember, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."