How to win work when meeting clients
You won’t get many chances to pitch your work in person, so make sure you do your homework.
Decide on what you want to achieve from the meeting
While the end prize might be to get the work, there are often several stages in this process. Your first objective might be to convince the client that your idea is worth getting their team together to discuss your proposal in more detail.
Think about structure and content:
- What are the client’s objectives/needs? (One of your objectives might be to find out this)
- How many people will be attending and who are they?
- What key messages do you need to present to demonstrate that you can help them meet these objectives?
- What questions are they likely to ask?
- What questions do you want to ask?
- What action would you like them to take as a result of the meeting?
- How much time do you have?
- What facilities are available, e.g., wi fi and projector.
Do the preparation
Research the information that you’ll need to mention in the meeting just as you would do in your creative work.
Find out more about the client to demonstrate knowledge, interest and build rapport. If you want work from somebody but know nothing about them, most people will find this a complete turn-off and see it as a sign of ‘can’t be bothered’, ‘uninformed’ and even ‘rude’.
Prepare the content including the structure of what you will say and how you will say it (this might be with the aid of Powerpoint or other visuals, demonstrations and /handouts). Or, it might be simply a case of jotting down a few bullet points in your mobile if it’s a quick, informal meeting.
Prepare summary/supplementary information (about the content and yourself) that would be useful to leave behind.
If it’s a formal presentation, practise what you’re going to say out loud – preferably to an audience (maybe friends and family).
You’ll be surprised how different things sound when you say them out loud. If it’s a long session, at least practise your introduction and links to various sections.