Collections of a Young Professional.
No. 3 Not Connecting in the First Meeting?
It will be easiest to start with this: You will not connect with every prospective client that requests a meeting with you . . . and you shouldn’t! A meeting with a prospective client can be challenging to your personal and professional brands. As a young professional you have had to put in countless hours researching, observing, and practicing on your speech patterns and body language to prepare yourself to #slay your next client meeting. Yet somehow, as you are standing in the elevator or walking back to your car, you are in dismay because they just didn’t seem to connect to anything you said. You begin to overanalyze every detail and every comment from both parties. This is good! What you have observed is key in determining what the problem was and how you could have changed the meeting in your favor.
We all let our personal lives get the best of the workplace.
As a young professional it can be difficult to separate your personal life from your professional. Company culture in many ways can mimic family behaviors and make you feel as if you were always speaking amongst friends. The biggest mistake in this is that we all have bad days! When one link in the family chain is having a bad day he or she can disrupt the whole offices’ attitude. This is no different for the client sitting across from you. Before you misjudge the bad meeting ask yourself these questions to evaluate if the meeting was sour because of you or them:
How did the conversation start? Did you observe a clear change in your client’s attitude during the meeting? What comment or discussion changed his or her attitude?
What was their posture like? Body language is a large indicator for the tone of a person’s speech. Did you observe negative nonverbal cues such as distaste or irritation? Did your client exhibit relaxed behavior and then change his or her demeanor?
When you made comments did they respond positively or negatively? Take note when your client begins showing signs of negativity. You may find that it wasn’t you at all, it very well could have been your associate sitting next to you. It is also important to observe what triggered any form of negativity.
Does not understand? Or total misunderstanding?
Observe what you should have done differently in the meeting now that you have determined the negative triggers. I have found that in some instances the disconnect was either because of something lost in translation or resulted from a direct comment I made.
Lost in Translation: In the middle of the meeting you may have realized you just aren’t a good fit for this client because you do not believe in their company or personal mission and vision. Your disconnect is not unseen by the client and could have brought on the first signs of their negative behavior.
Bad Commentary: Did you properly prepare for this meeting? It is important to always come prepared with answers to possible questions, answers to their expressed needs, notes on their company, and notes on them! If you are not prepared with each of these items there is a solid chance you were the problem in the meeting.
You have to consider Culture Fit.
Absolutely! You have a brand that must always stay consistent with the mission. Each acquired client will change the public perception of your brand. You know your what your brand needs . . . if you feel like this client works against it then say thank you and walk away. You are allowed to say no!
We have all had bad meetings. The difference between the “cursed” and the “lucky” is that one of them took notes and changed the way they approach their meetings. Always respect that the people in front of you have personal issues the same as you, they can be affected by their emotions, sometimes you are not a good fit for them, and they may also not be a good fit for you. You can wallow in this failed meeting or you can consider this a practice round. Each meeting is a learning experience to build your personal brand as a young professional and soon you will be killing it at client meetings.
Striving to be Culturally Fluent & Collectively Individual.