What I’ve learned from attending my first client meeting
I recently attended my first client meeting, and I loved it! Everything made so much more sense to me after sitting in and listening to the discussion my colleague and our client. The reason why I enjoyed it so much was because, after months of assisting on various tasks for the client, I was finally exposed to a detailed discussion about the company’s business plans for the upcoming year. It showed me how important it is to have in-depth knowledge about all areas of the client’s business in order for us to do our work effectively.
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Before attending the meeting, I had to do a bit of preparation. I was in charge of taking minutes and compiling the contact report after the meeting. My colleague advised me to review previous agendas and contact reports to understand the format used. This was not a difficult task thanks to the examples I had.
After this experience, I have noted four points of advice for client meetings:
- Make sure that you familiarise yourself with the client and client representative that you will be meeting – ensure you know their names and designations, as well as where you are expected to meet. Always allow yourself enough time to get to the venue as being late for a meeting doesn’t give off a good impression.
- Familiarise yourself with the different procedures that are usually followed before, during and after the meeting. I ensured that I went through previous reports and agendas to be aware of what has been spoken about and what is possibly going to be discussed with the client. Having this background helps you to feel more confident as possible and to contribute to the best of your ability if your input is asked for.
- Make notes. I took a notebook and my entire copy of the agenda was filled with notes! Even though I spent the majority of the meeting jotting down these notes, I feel that it helped me a lot when it came to putting the contact report together for editing by my colleague.
- Always be friendly and professional. Introduce yourself to the client with a smile and remain as engaged as much as you possibly can – not only to show interest but to understand the important conversation points too.
This was my first of hopefully many meetings. Just like anything, experience is key and I’ll be sure to add some more tips and advice from the meetings I hope to attend in the future.