10 advices when you first meet a potential client
When you first begin your freelance career you do not have to underestimate some aspect of the job which you might never done before probably because you were working as an employee. When you become a freelance, you become identify of yourself, your brand, so you need to show as well as your creative part also your managerial and representative side. Here some strategies to follow in order to have a successful first meeting with a potential client.
1. Know him and his business
Before you meet your client you have to be sure about his business, get information before you attend the meeting, research on google or on social networks about the company/agency. You would get a terrible first impression if he will ask you what is business about and you will say no!
2. Sell yourself
This is the main purpose. You are dealing with a potential client selling your skills, so be positive show him your best works flipping through your portfolio do not be quiet is not one very good. Instead, take the opportunity to lean in and take them on a journey through your work. Engaging your client is essential. People want to feel involved. Get feedback from old clients if you can and show it to the new ones. Make him enthusiastic about what you can offer, you are a professional and this is the attitude you have to keep carry on.
Accessories such as i-pad/laptops/portfolio’s cases can help you to show your portfolio and in a future your project for him. It also show your professionally and how much do you care about your job.
4. Be Nice
Be a nice and positive person, smile, clients will not do business with a grumpy person, so cheer up, and if you can present yourself bringing a small gift, something like cookies, coffee, or a basket of fruit that you might share together. I suggest avoid personal and expensive stuff such as watches and jewelry, you do not know this person and what it thinks about that and you do not want look like you are “buying” the job.
5. Suit up!
Introducing yourself to a first client meeting with a t-shirt and shorts it is not the best idea. It is true that you are a designer but in business people do care a lot about how you look. I am not saying that you have to wear a suit (if you want you can!) shirt and pants are fine, remenber to shave and have your face clean. Last thing if you do smoke do not do unlist a couple of hours before the meeting, some people do not really like when you smell like ash.
6. Be in Time!
Try your best to not be late to the appointment! People hate wait and they might look as an unprofessional behavior. If you find yourself in trouble and you can not make give it a call and say that you are on your way. Do not be too early either, it can be seen as one a weakens of yours.
Leave your client talk about what he wants, what he is looking for, be sure to get all the information about the job and also it can help you to understand what kind of person he is, and what are his taste like. Leave all your question at the end of the conversation.
8. Take notes
Following the previous step (listen) I would also suggest: take notes, with your computer or on paper if you prefer, and be sure o keep your notes organized try to enter information in outline form or at least bullet-points under separate headers.
9. Set an agenda
An agenda sets the expectations of the meeting, establishes and orderly flow and helps everyone understand his or her roles. Expecially if you have a business partner or a team e-mail a short agenda to everyone who’ll be in attendance so you will know that everyone is well prepared.
10. Be Honest
Too many people promise the world to potential clients, tell them what you can and can not do! Tell them the truth and speaking in realistic terms. You need to hearn their trust and be honest is the best start.
Share your thoughts with us and do not forget to subscribe our RSS so you do not miss our valuable articles.
Written by Vincenzo
Hi, my name is Vincenzo Vitiello and I am a Graphic, Logo & Web Designer. I am specializing in the fields of brand identity, advertising, print design. I also am a self-taught passionate for web and motion design. I do work both as an employee and a self-employed under the name of Vin Novative.