Time is money and there’s no escaping it. When you’ve taken on advisory services, it might seem like you’re now nailing every minute of your day. But, there are always ways to improve. That’s why we’ve created you your very own advisory meeting planner.
We’ve learnt a lot from our advisory community over the years, so here are a few things you can do to be successful.
This is to be done before you sit down together. Work out exactly how likely you are to close the deal in advance of signing them to your books, so you can reduce the chance of them churning. Customers actually cost you more when they churn, so it’s crucial to do everything you can to prevent it.
So how can you qualify the prospects conscientiously?
Use questionnaires. They’re the perfect qualifier for your meeting planner. Be it hard copies or online, asking things like what cloud accounting package they’re using, how big their business is and more, will help you see how worth chasing they are. You’ll know what services they’ll benefit from, streamlining the entire qualification process. And it’ll show if they’re a great fit to work with or not.
Track how they found you. Did your prospect come in via referral? Or did they find you through your website? If you can work this out, you’ll get a great insight into how far along their journey they are and what level of service they need.
To boost efficiency, cut the noise out of your meetings. We already know the best way to get buy-in from prospective clients is to build a real relationship with them. But, there’s a fine line between that and veering off topic. Absolutely perform your pleasantries but treat the meeting as if it’s a billable hour and get down to business.
What are the best ways to do this?
Recap and regroup from last time. If you’ve met before, the first thing to catch up on is the progress your client has made since the last time you saw one another. Set aside the first half or quarter of the meeting to go through this, then use the remaining time to look ahead at the future. Obviously, if this is your first meeting, play it a little different.
No matter where you are in your relationship with your client, set up a meeting structure. Sometimes you can’t help but have a phone or video call, but face to face is better if you can. Next up, work out what the most important things are to the client. Always address the most important orders of business first, so that if there’s not enough time to cover some items, at least they’ll be the less pressing matters.
Set a clear purpose and deliverables for each meeting. Let’s say it’s meeting number one. The purpose must be to work out what your client needs. If it’s the second, then you can recap deliverables and measure progress. Try and set these up and share them with your client before you meet so both of you can prepare.
If you set up your next meeting in person before your client leaves or hangs up, you’ll know you won’t drop the ball between meetings. The risk of large gaps between seeing each other can be worrying. If you were to leave it even two months, for example, your client’s business could spin out of control.
How can you get the regularity of meetings perfect?
For your first meeting, invite your client to your office to show them where they can find you. Seeing you in your place of work will help them understand the passion you have for your firm and role. That is a fantastic first impression to make.
For subsequent meetings, make sure the details are on their terms and at the site of their business. Time to visit your client in their natural habitat. If you don’t, how will you really start to understand what’s important to them and how you can help? Get to know how they operate and who does what in their team. It’ll be priceless knowledge when it comes to helping with operational and growth strategies. Finally, check back over your meeting planner to make sure you’ve got everything you need from your clients.