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How To Run A Client Meeting

Successfully run a client meeting by adequately preparing beforehand, clearly setting and sticking to an agenda, encouraging open communication and collaboration, addressing client needs and concerns, and following up with detailed meeting minutes or action plan.

A client meeting is a formal communication or discussion conducted between a business and its client or prospective client, aimed at understanding client’s needs, enhancing relationships, presenting business solutions, proposing new products or services, obtaining feedback, addressing any concerns or queries and ensuring client’s satisfaction. This gathering plays a vital role in maintaining and furthering a business’s relationship with its clientele and can be conducted either face-to-face, virtually, or through phone consultations, depending on the nature of the business and the preference or convenience of the client. The success of a client meeting directly impacts the success of the business-client relationship and can potentially influence the company’s reputation and revenue.

What is the purpose of a Client Meeting?

The purpose of running a client-meeting as a leader is to establish rapport, understand the client’s needs, and align the team’s efforts towards delivering the desired outcome. Effective communication and active listening enable the leader to address any concerns, build trust, and ensure a successful collaboration that exceeds client expectations.

How To Run A Client Meeting: Step-By-Step

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Step 1: Schedule the Meeting

Identifying a suitable date and time for all attendees is critical. For this, an online scheduling tool can be extremely effective. Alternatively, an email can be dispatched to reserve time for meeting ensuring its reach to every concerned individual. Just as important is the inclusion of the meeting’s location details, specifying whether it is a virtual or a physical one. This step ensures everyone is on the same page, reduces scheduling conflicts, and increases attendance.

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Step 2: Set the Agenda

Maintain a productive and efficient meeting by distinctly outlining its purpose and predicting the results. Distribute the meeting agenda to your clients in advance, allowing them time to prepare or suggest additional talking points. This transparency encourages participation and ensures that all necessary subjects are covered efficiently and effectively.

ZipDo, our software, merges your calendar meetings into a single, collaborative environment. Within this environment, teams can craft a shared meeting agenda, promoting contributions from everyone. This strategy leads to superior meeting preparedness, boosting productivity and making the preparation and follow-up phases more straightforward.

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Step 3: Prepare for the Meeting

To conduct a successful meeting, thoroughly familiarize yourself with vital information including your client’s business needs, past meeting records and upcoming agendas. Allocate time beforehand to prepare essential materials or presentations, which can foster more productive discussions and contribute to the overall effectiveness of the meeting.

With ZipDo, our application, the hassle of preparing for team meetings is significantly reduced. Meeting leads benefit from a central hub of information from prior meetings, streamlining the retrieval of agendas and notes. This methodical approach ensures complete topic coverage.

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Step 4: Open the Meeting

Initiate your meeting cordially by greeting your client and, if needed, make sure to introduce everyone present. Enable clarity by succinctly communicating the day’s agenda and objectives. Conclude your introduction by expressing appreciation for everyone’s commitment and time. This sets a positive and respectful atmosphere for a productive discussion.

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Step 5: Conduct the Meeting

Ensure the meeting remains focused by diligently following the prepared agenda. Encourage open, respectful dialogue that allows for productive discussions, facilitating clear and effective communication among all participants. In the event of disagreements, manage them with professionalism, always aiming for a consensus, or if consensus is not possible, designing actionable steps to handle the unresolved issues post-meeting, ensuring all concerns are addressed without causing further disruption.

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Step 6: Take Minutes

During the meeting, it’s crucial to record key points, decisions, action items, as well as assigned responsibilities. This forms a concrete, written documentation of the entire meeting proceedings, serving as a crucial reference point for any clarifications or discrepancies that may arise in the future.

Our application, ZipDo, automatically imports meetings from your calendar, creating a collaborative workspace for each. This enables you and your team to keep detailed notes for every meeting, simplifying both the preparation and follow-up processes and improving accountability across your team.

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Step 7: Closing the Meeting

To conclude the meeting, integrate and communicate key decisions made, and strategize the actions expected ahead. Encourage last-minute thoughts or queries for clarity. Express gratitude towards all attendees for their valuable involvement and contribution to the productive session.

Questions to ask as the leader of the meeting

1. What are your goals and objectives for this project? – Understanding the client’s goals will ensure that the leader can align their strategy and efforts accordingly.

2. What are your expectations from this collaboration? – Knowing the client’s expectations will help the leader manage their client’s needs and deliver satisfactory results.

3. What are the specific challenges you are facing that we can help you with? – Identifying the client’s challenges will allow the leader to offer tailored solutions and demonstrate their expertise.

4. Who are your target audience or customers? – Understanding the target audience helps the leader create targeted marketing or communication strategies that resonate with the client’s ideal customers.

5. What are your competitors doing that you find impressive or effective? – Knowing the client’s perspective on their competitors will provide insights into industry trends and benchmarks for the leader to consider when developing strategies.

6. What differentiates your brand from your competitors? – Understanding the client’s unique selling points will facilitate the leader in crafting a distinct brand message and developing competitive advantages.

7. What channels or platforms do you currently use to reach your customers? – Understanding the client’s current marketing channels allows the leader to maximize their efforts on the most effective platforms and explore new opportunities.

8. What metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) do you use to measure success? – Knowing the client’s preferred metrics will help the leader align their objectives with the client’s expectations and track progress accordingly.

9. What is your budget for this project? – Understanding the client’s budget will enable the leader to propose appropriate strategies and manage resources effectively.

10. What is your preferred timeline for project completion? – Knowing the client’s timeline will help the leader manage expectations and allocate resources appropriately to meet deadlines.

Preparing a client-meeting agenda as a leader involves clear objectives, identifying key discussion points, and allocating appropriate time for each topic. Prioritize client needs, establish a structured format, and share the agenda in advance to allow clients to prepare. This ensures a productive meeting where goals are achieved and client satisfaction is prioritized.

How To Prepare For A Client Meeting
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During a client meeting, it is essential to discuss the client’s specific needs and goals, their target audience and market, the scope and timeline of the project, the budget and pricing, as well as any previous marketing efforts or campaigns. Additionally, it is important to address potential challenges and provide effective solutions, while ensuring both parties are aligned on expectations and next steps.

See Our Client Meeting Template
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Software tools to facilitate a Client Meeting

Software helps leaders run client meetings smoothly by providing a range of useful tools and features. Meeting scheduling tools assist in finding suitable meeting times for all participants, while video conferencing software enables face-to-face communication, regardless of location. Collaboration platforms allow leaders to share documents, presentations, and real-time updates. Additionally, note-taking and task management features help leaders stay organized and follow up on key action items discussed during the meeting.

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Conclusion

Running a successful client meeting is a skill that requires preparation, clear communication, precise agenda, effective time management, and deliberate follow-ups. Consider your client’s needs and expectations, but remember to demonstrate your competence and control over the situation. Professionalism, organization, and responsiveness are pivotal in fostering good working rapport – these should be displayed before, during, and after your client meetings. Always focus on adding value and ensuring the interaction is fruitful for all parties involved. With these tips in mind, you’re ready to drive more successful, productive, and efficient client meetings. Practice, learn from each interaction, and constantly refine your approach.

Jannik Lindner

I'm Jannik and I write on MeetingFever about the experiences from my career as a founder and team lead.

If you have any questions, please contact me via LinkedIn.

Popular Questions

What is the purpose of a client meeting?

The main purpose of a client meeting is to discuss project details, expectations, timelines, and other relevant topics. It’s also an opportunity to build a strong relationship with the client, understand their needs and requirements better, and ensure that both the client and the service provider are on the same page.

How should I prepare for a client meeting?

Preparation for a client meeting should include understanding the client’s needs, researching their industry, preparing an agenda, and setting clear objectives for the meeting. It’s also beneficial to rehearse your presentation, prepare answers to potential questions, and gather all necessary materials or documents.

How long should a client meeting last?

The length of a client meeting can vary based on the scope of the agenda, but in general, it’s best to aim for about an hour. This gives ample time to discuss major points while ensuring that the meeting remains focused and engaging.

How to conduct a successful client meeting?

To conduct a successful client meeting, start by setting a clear agenda and stick to it. Be professional and respectful, listen more than you talk, ask insightful questions to better understand the client’s needs, and follow up with meeting minutes to ensure that everyone is on the same page after the meeting.

What should I do if the client meeting doesn’t go as planned?

If a client meeting doesn’t go as planned, it’s important to remain calm and professional. Try to address any issues or disagreements during the meeting itself. If that’s not possible, schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss those issues. Also, after the meeting, evaluate what went wrong and how you can improve for future meetings.

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