Chris Harihar June 5, 2012 | 02:50:34

Planning The Perfect Client Meeting

For client meetings—content always trumps style.

However, presentation definitely plays a part when PR pros are attempting to impress a visiting client. To make sure all of your bases are covered – from substance to style – here are 3 tips for the perfect client meeting.

Preparation is Key

In PR, details can make or break you. From a pitch to a media list, thoughtful preparation matters. The same can be said, of course, for your client meeting. Run down a checklist of details, from water to car service. Your meeting is on Monday, but perhaps the client needs a workspace for Tuesday. Can you seat them? Do you have a WiFi login printed out? Keeping these details in mind and planning for them in advance can help drive a successful client meeting. They also show that you care about and respect your client’s time and presence.

Everyone, Please Speak

Client meetings should always be interesting, engaging and client-centric, serving to enhance the agency relationship. In addition to gaining a face-to-face with their “day-to-day,” the client also gets a chance to bond with some of the more senior staffers who fought for their business during the RFP process (and that may have mysteriously disappeared from the daily emails, weekly calls, etc.).  Note to senior members – don’t dominate the conversation in a client meeting. The day-to-day and other members of a PR team should all contribute to the meeting. It highlights the collective competence of everyone in the room, while also eliminating a potentially awkward situation—the PR pro who says nothing.

Decks Really Do Work

Whether a client is stopping by for 20 minutes or five hours, be prepared to guide the discussion. A written deck will allow you to structure the meeting and maintain control. A powerpoint or other presentation can also signal professionalism and vision.  Just make sure your content and creative are equally powerful.

These are just 3 general tips to consider when planning a client meeting. What else do you recommend?

One thought on “Planning The Perfect Client Meeting

  1. It’s also important to determine the goal of the meeting. Even during new business meetings, the goal is not always to “win the deal.” Maybe it’s a first meeting the goals is to get to the next meeting.
    Determine your purpose for meeting: Inform or decide something.

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