The ideal client visit consists of a charming account manager, an easy journey and a productive meeting. However, as any fellow account manager will know, these visits don’t always run smoothly. Clients can be uncooperative, traffic can slow down proceedings and sometimes resolutions just aren’t made. The best way to get the most out of your client visit is of course to have an agenda, but to also sometimes anticipate the worst and prepare for resolutions.
Use Reliable Transport
Not being able to find somewhere to park, getting stuck in traffic and having no available corporate cars to use can all hinder a client visit day. The best way to dodge any transport incidents is to use reliable transport that is very unlikely to cause any hold ups in your day. A corporate taxi service might be your best bet in this instance, as they will have extensive experience in working with companies. You won’t get any resentment about making multiple trips or putting the money on business expenses.
Write Down Your Biggest Anxieties First
Of course, you want to keep your client on-side, but this can be achieved through basic niceties and cordiality. When you are drafting your itinerary, write down your biggest anxieties first. You do not want to leave any unresolved issues to a catch-up email. Write them down, find a way of raising them in a way that isn’t too confrontational, and make them a priority. You don’t want to get to the end of your meeting and still have major stress points still unaddressed because you ran out of time.
To avoid sounding too negative, start your meeting with a status run-down. If you have had previous client meetings, discuss your progress since then. Give a practical but optimistic evaluation of where you are and what needs to be finished in time.
In fact, one of the best ways to ensure those hot topics are discussed is to send the agenda over to the client first. While you can’t always guarantee that they will take the time to read it first, you have at least tried to secure some sense of organization. Getting the agenda to them beforehand gives you the best possible chance of having a truly productive meeting.
Don’t Pander to the Manager
If you have a senior member of staff visiting, it can be quite tempting to want to make a really good impression by giving them plenty of eye contact and conversation time. However, remember that this could backfire on you if they have invited other employees. Giving all members of the visiting company equal air time in terms of discussion will show you are polite and considerate. Ignoring less senior visitors could impact your company negatively.
When it comes to client visits, it is important that you don’t set your expectations too high. As we all know, clients can be tricky and unreliable. It’s therefore in your interest to plan as much as possible and anticipate difficulties before they arise. Planning your agenda and sending it to the client beforehand will put you in the best possible place to achieve your ambitions for the visit.