2 tools you need in every client meeting

Posted by on Jun 24, 2012 in consulting101, Featured | 3 comments

You got a meeting with a client scheduled. Maybe just a “if you have five minutes, would you swing by my office? Thanks!”-type of event. If you don’t present something on screen, don’t bring your computer. Keep your phone in your pocket, and have it on mute (without vibration, that’ll still be audible and sound like… well, other things that vibrate). Client time means that you give your client full attention. So – bring nothing? Wrong.

The two tools that you need in every client meeting are – you might have guessed it – pen and paper.

I have tried coming up with good examples  that enforce this point, but they all seemed terribly stupid. I mean – how hard can it be? Bring something to take notes whenever you sit down with a client, full stop. I recently switched to using an iPad with a stylus and the NotesPlus app, but it is the same thing really.

You’ll be amazed at the results: No more “I forgot we agreed on that”, and your clients will have the good feeling that your conversation matters to them. Even if you don’t note much more down that the date and time, the name of your counterpart and the general topic of what you talked about, they’ll feel good about it.

Got it? Wonderful. Now back to that “end of the weekend” glass of red wine!

1 comments
WilliamDykes
WilliamDykes

This post is a helpful reminder that technology, although helpful and even necessary, can be a very impersonal way to conduct business. Even if you are taking notes on your laptop or iPad, the client may think that you are doing something else. Pen and paper is a sure way to reinforce your client that you are listening and writing down the importanct take aways from the meeting. This, however, will probably change in the future as later generations leave the work force. Thanks for the advice!

 

William Dykes

A.B. Freeman School of Business

Tulane University