Do you remember their birthdays? Their children's names? Where they last vacationed?
There is such a thing as being too familiar - you know the type; when a person comes up to you and invades your personal space. However, in business, putting aside the touchy feely stuff, being familiar by remembering important details about your clients, their habits, and perhaps the way they take their coffee, can ensure that your client feels comfortable sharing things with you that perhaps they would not do to a "stranger".
First meetings are always key to ascertaining what level of playing field you will be on in the relationship going forward. That means, if they share important information like the fact that they are married and have three children or like to ski, then ensure you capture this data and use it in the future. In ski season, perhaps you send them a new pair of gloves or a scarf.
Yesterday, I met with a company in Atlanta that was headed by an Australian man. Immediately, we had something in common and were able to conduct the rest of the meeting with a sense of familiarity. Going through the same issues of settling in a new country, gives a sense that we are both on the same page. This makes the whole process so much easier because there is a sense that we both know where we are coming from thus helping Marketing Eye win this piece of business.
Food for thought!
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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Thanks for sharing this post, I definitely agree with you!
In business, develop a good and reliable relationship with client is maybe the most important thing we have to do.
This kind of "almost-friendly" relationship will create a sort of loyalty from the customer in the future, and it's the best thing we can expect from him.
In order to create that "almost-friendly" relationship, the first 15 minutes of the first meeting with a client are essential.
According to me the best way to introduce a (first) meeting to develop this familiarity with a client is trying to talk about nothing and everything and get as much information as possible about client's life, interests,...
Because as you wrote it, we can use these precious information in the future.
Talking about nothing and everything but not about business. Or talking about his business, because he must feel like the most important person during the meeting.
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