Meeting with a client always requires thorough preliminary preparation. On how well and competently the administrator prepared for the meeting, often depends its entire outcome. In this article, I will talk about what specific steps the admin should take in order to attract attention, increase the interest of the potential client and maximize the chances for the successful completion of the deal.
In order to understand why the first meeting with a client is so important, it’s necessary to realize that there’s no second chance to make a first impression. Scientifically proven is the fact that the impression about a person develops literally in the first 7 seconds of acquaintance. In this, short period of time a person subconsciously decides for himself whether it will be comfortable for him to communicate with you or not. In order to make the most favorable impression on the client, it’s necessary to at least work on the elimination of obvious blunders, about which I’ll talk about right now.
Preparation for the meeting with a client
So, since the task of the administrator in the first place is to make a favorable impression on the client even before he opens his mouth, his task will be to observe some elementary rules regarding his appearance. Many fitness centers and gyms have a rule concerning a club form for all its employees. However, this rule doesn’t occur always and everywhere, which means that the admin needs to pay attention to some more or less significant nuances that contribute to the successful creation of contact with a potential client. In addition, the administrator’s appearance is not limited only by the form, which means that you also need to take care of those aspects of your appearance that can make a repulsive impression. So, the recommendations are as follows.
- Your clothes shouldn’t be too bright or too catchy. Your task is to keep the client’s attention on the information you bring to him and at the club he came to see. Brightly red shoes or a “F*ck all humans” T-shirt will obviously be inappropriate.
- All clothing should be clean, washed and ironed as necessary. Perhaps this isn’t so important for the employee himself, however, the potential client by looking at staff evaluates the level of the club. So this work is not for a sloppy person.
- Shoes should match the style of clothing. If your style of clothing at work is officially business, then try to put appropriate shoes on your feet at the moment of meeting with the client, but not sneakers, sandals or even slippers.
- The same general style rule applies to hairstyles, makeup and manicure. There’s no need to distract the client’s attention to bright red hair, long painted eyelashes or a vivid manicure. His attention should be focused on the presentation.
- To the excesses we include various jewelries. Of course, they can take place, but there shouldn’t be too many of them, and also they shouldn’t attract attention to themselves. A large amount of jewelry may seem defiant to the client and can repel him.
- The smell plays a very important role in all its manifestations, and more precisely sources. Bad breath, body odor, or clothing smell, if bad, can easily repel a client. Take care of yourself, brush your teeth, take a shower and wash your clothes.
- The required element of the form must be a badge with your name. The client has no need to remember your name, so your task is to make it so that, as needed, it’s always visible to the interlocutor, and it’s printed in large font.
Scheduled meeting with a client
The most obvious mistake at the first meeting with a client is waiting. Not yours, but his. If you forget, hesitate, linger and make the client wait, his indignation increases, and the longer the waiting continues, the more stable barriers to the upcoming meeting he creates in his head. In other words, the longer the customer waits, the more difficult it will be for you to close a deal with him.
In order to exclude such a stupid incident, I strongly recommend you to take into account, firstly, the fact that you need to meet a client in the hallway of the club, that is, at the reception desk, and secondly, I advise you to keep in mind that, due to unforeseen circumstances, he may be late (what’s not so scary for you), or come in advance. Thus, the optimal solution for you is to expect a client at the reception desk of the fitness club 10 minutes before the meeting. At this point, you should already have at hand all the necessary forms and questionnaires, you should be free from the execution of other tasks, and of course, it’s important to refresh in your mind all the information regarding the client himself – all that you talked about with him over the phone.
TIP. It often happens that the client, without warning in advance, can come when he pleases. Indeed, sometimes it happens. Nevertheless, experience shows that according to statistics, in the ratio of scheduled and unscheduled meetings, there are always more first ones. Successful sellers turn these statistics to their advantage, firstly, they always set a specific time for a meeting during a telephone conversation, secondly, in the morning on the day of the meeting they call (or write a message) to the client with a reminder of the upcoming event, and thirdly, they come to the meeting place 10 minutes before it starts.
Unscheduled meeting with a client
Now let’s figure out what to do in the situation when the person with whom the appointment is scheduled came either in advance or at a completely different time. In such a situation, you may or may not be in place. In order not to lose a potential client, you must ask the second administrator to hold him. Then the administrator calls you (wherever you are) and reports that a person is waiting for you. In such a situation, the administrator at the reception should offer tea or coffee to the visitor and invite him to sit on the sofa, to read the fitness club’s brochures or to watch a TV.
Your task at this moment is to quickly raise records about this person and perform the same set of manipulations as for holding a scheduled meeting. First of all, recall the person’s name and surname, then take the necessary list of forms, questionnaires, registration sheets and schedules, one or two pens, blank sheets of paper and go on a meeting with the client.
TIP. A person who arrived earlier than the appointed time and didn’t warn about this is aware of the fact that you may not be ready for his visit, which means that you have the right to reserve 5 minutes for preparation before you go to the reception. In order for the expectation not to last long, it’s recommended to keep on the table next to the sofa fresh thematic literature – periodicals and magazines. Something that can grip the mind, eyes and hands of the visitor for the time until you go down to him.
What else you need to know
If you know in advance that you may have some tasks or calls that don’t require your direct participation, bother to arrange in advance with a second (or senior) administrator so that nothing distracts you during a meeting with a client at the club. At that moment when the client comes to the meeting, all your attention should be devoted only to him. In the opposite situation, if he sees that you are distracted, that you are speaking with someone on the phone or even leaving him alone, this will be another situation when doubts will begin to arise in his mind as to how important this meeting is.
If a meeting with a client at the club falls at the moment when you are the only administrator on the shift, either transfer calls to the sales department, or taking into account that this is an extreme case, remember the rule that I described in the article “Administrator’s cheat sheet“. It says – don’t rely on what may be, but on what already is. In other words, don’t look for a client on the phone when he’s already standing in front of you. That is, pick up the phone, ask for a name, quickly say that you will call back within 10 minutes and end the conversation. In an ideal situation, at the moment you are having a meeting, the second administrator or sales manager will receive all incoming calls and record contact information. So you can either conduct a presentation and don’t lose potential customer.
As always in the work of the administrator, an equally important element in the process of preparing for the meeting is the mood. As practice shows, you can program your mood for a meeting. This means that if you tune in to the fact that the meeting with a client will go well, it’s very likely to happen. Accordingly, if you tune in to negative, you will not have to expect a positive outcome from the meeting. The client is as much a live person as everyone else, he has enough of his problems, and if you start to load him with yours, consider that you failed the deal.
The way you tune in to a meeting is always reflected on your behavior. You don’t need to have a psychological education in order to recognize the mood of the interlocutor. Any person during his life gains experience regarding how facial expressions look, gestures, intonation of speech, movement of the eyes and so on. Work on your mood and behavior, leave all the problems behind, or at least forget about them during the meeting with a client. By emitting positivity and showing knowledge of the product or service that you are selling, you inspire the interlocutor that he’s at the right time, in the right place and is going to acquire exactly what he needs.
Author – Felix Palmer