Clients are the life and blood of any organization. They drive in the revenue and help any business grow. Remember a business cannot function without the clients. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to have the perfect pitch for your clients at every client meeting. Going unprepared for a client meeting does not only reflect badly on you but on the company as well. For this purpose, here’s a quick checklist on how to prepare for client meetings.
Have all the facts and the numbers
Before going to meet with a client, make sure you have all the information necessary for the meeting. This includes the results of the past month, the target for the current month, quarterly analysis and a proper pitch if you are planning to present a new idea. If you have all the required information on your fingertips, you will be able to answer questions better, clarify doubts and convincingly pitch the new idea. It would also show that you are prepared for the meeting in all the ways possible.
Understand the product
This is a must for every meeting. Know your product inside out to clarify all the doubts. If you do not know a certain feature regarding the product, the clients would not be open to accepting it as well. Be brief while speaking about the product, however, never miss mentioning all the features. Highlight the key unique selling point about the product in the meeting but cover all bases from price to production value.
Have an agenda
Prepare an agenda for the meeting in advance. Compose a list of topics that need to be covered in the meeting to help keep the meeting on track. Include the topics the client would like to discuss and add the topics about which you need to speak with the client. Agendas will help cover all the important bases of the meeting and will help later while drafting minutes of the meeting as well.
Avoid small talk
Small talk is a nice means to start a conversation. But make it a point to keep the small talk to a minimum. Steer the conversation towards important and key issues especially when time sensitive issues are on the agenda. If the small talk is kept to a bare minimum, you can try to cover all the items on the agenda leisurely and make the best use of the time scheduled for the meeting.
The end goal
Make a note of the end goal of the meeting. What exactly are you trying to accomplish through the meeting and could be covered by calls and emails? Having an end goal will help you prepare accordingly and cover all the necessary areas. Clients also tend to have busy schedules, so give them a valid reason to make time and attend the meeting. The end goal also includes what the client would receive from the meeting and what the company aims to achieve through the meeting as well.
The Importance Of SWOT Analysis For A Business
Startups and their incredible stories, do not just happen overnight. It requires extensive research and dedicated hard work to make things happen. As a beginner who is launching a business, one must be aware of the do’s and don’ts of their business operations. Whether it is financial tasks or resources or manpower, a startup should keep a track of what and how and where to invest. Every business must conduct a SWOT analysis timely in order to find out its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A perfect way to find out where your business stands is to conduct a SWOT analysis. From large firms to small firms, every business can follow this analysis to find out its whereabouts in the market and implement the same when required.
The four elements of a SWOT analysis are as below!
Strengths – This element shows the characteristics of a business that give you an advantage over others. In simple terms, your strength could be your Unique Selling Point (USP.) Alongside, anything that adds weight to your business plan such as financial support, effective strategies, first mover advantage or any other internal factor that is your strength comes under this category, Recognize your strengths and use them to climb up the ladder to success!
Example – Nestle Maggie Noodles is the leader in the noodle market and its strength lies in its first mover advantage.
Weaknesses – Weaknesses refers to the areas your competitors have an upper hand when compared to you in the market. It is extremely important to recognize your weakness and work on it before it is too late. Low performance of your team or lagging behind with respect to technology upgradation could be considered as one the weaknesses of a business.
Example – One of the major factors why Nokia disappeared from the mobile phone market lies in its incapability to switch to the manufacturing of smartphones at an early stage.
Opportunities – This domain helps you achieve your objectives with ease. Find out the factors which could help you do more with your existing customers or clients. With the additional information you have, go for an extensive market research. As a startup you can go for expanding your business via social media platforms. Use it as an opportunity to expand your business. Examine your business with questions like, are there any new technological advances we could use to expand our business and reach new consumers? How can we adapt our business to changing consumer tastes and preferences?
Example – IKEA is traditionally famous for its diversification strategies. The company is launching its first ever store in India with its debut in T Hub which happens to be India’s largest incubator for startups, located in Hyderabad, Telangana.
Threats – Threats can be elements in the environment that could be dangerous for a business. Emerging competitors or changing customer attitudes could be major threats. Consider the factors that could affect the flow of your business and its operations. Try to opt for a solution and overcome them. Threats are external factors that you have no control over.
Example- PepsiCo must consider the consumer shifting toward health drinks as a threat and focus more toward flourishing the market with health drinks!
As easy as it may sound, SWOT requires a lot of considerations with regards to your business, your competitors, your work environment in the best possible way. So, when you are starting a business do not forget to conduct the SWOT analysis! Swot away your obstacles with a successful analysis!
How To Talk To People You Cannot Avoid
There is always that one person with whom you do not know how to break the ice. Even the most out going person could find it difficult to speak to strangers. However, every workplace has different people and sometimes, it just comes to a point where you have no choice but to initiate conversation; also known as small talk!
1. Begin with an anchor
An anchor is essentially the starting point of every random conversation. It helps to set the tone and gives you an idea of what the other person is thinking. I usually start off with something like, “Oh, the weather is so nice today, I do not feel like working!” The best part about these openers is both you and the person to whom you are talking to know the statement is for the purpose of small talk and the awkward ice can be finally broken!
2. Reveal something about you
The best way to fill the gap in those minutes where the conversation becomes awkward is to say something like, “this job is quite exciting. I have not done such a challenging role before!” When your colleague knows the struggle is real, the conversation flows easily and quickly.
Listen, because it is important. When you say some of those superficial line fillers, you never know what kind of a conversation it may trigger. For instance, I had a bad day at work and a colleague happened to ask me how I was. In all fairness, the question was just a simple opener. I took it to be a real opener and offloaded onto a stranger. What makes listening work is you can always learn something about the other person! On a side note, this person and I are really close friends now!
4. Know when not to talk
Okay so there are times when you are engaging in random conversations, you hear things you do not entirely agree with. If these conversations are with people you do not know, then it is best to really keep quiet and not say things you regret later.
Small talk is quite a task and usually, in an informal setting, the ice can be broken over shared interests. At work, that is a little harder, even for an extrovert like me! I have used these tips in the past so I truly hope they help you too!
5 Ways To Promote Your Business On LinkedIn
If you are not promoting your business on LinkedIn then you are definitely missing out on something big!
LinkedIn could get you a massive potential audience for your business and boost your business to another level. At present, LinkedIn is the third most popular social networking website. From finding jobs to finding customers, this commercial website is widely used by everyone. This platform is the modern day lead generation software. According to stats, around 255 million people visit the site each month, ranging from individual employees to leaders of business.
Here are 5 ways to promote your business on LinkedIn
Create an effective company profile
Start off by creating an effective company profile on LinkedIn. The profile needs to be precise and unique which could differentiate you from others. Create a company profile that includes information about what your company does, how long you’ve been doing it and how interested clients can contact you for more information.
Post content actively
At this point, content marketing plays a vital role in any and every business. Of course, content is the queen! You have to post as much content as possible to keep the audience hooked to your company’s whereabouts. The content you add in your company summary section to news updates or to your own personal profile need to be targeted and optimized. Do not forget to use keywords that emphasize your speciality. Writing clever and brief content that shows you’re an expert in your field. You can also share your highest performing blog posts or articles. Alongside, do not forget to post interesting videos on LinkedIn. Provide links to relevant content on your website and attract the audience toward your business.
Boost your company’s SEO on LinkedIn
Optimizing your company page on LinkedIn is very important. I repeat, very important! When people are searching on LinkedIn, a well optimized company page pops up first. So, an effective SEO can help you gain immense visibility. You can insert relevant keywords in your company’s profile information. Apart from this, you can link your company page which is essential for boosting your ranking in search.
Join LinkedIn groups
Groups help you connect with professionals as well as customers. When you join the right groups, you have the potential to be targeting major decision makers that could become your clients. However, you may already be a part of several groups on LinkedIn but taking it as an opportunity to uplift your business is what matters. Each time you participate in a group, your photo and name are included, plus you can add on a short signature with your company information on your posts for added promotion. Isn’t that cool? Add a catchy signature that could grab the potential audience’s attention which in turn would take them to your company profile. You could also make a collaboration based group which can be created and managed by your own company. It can be an outstanding way to get your company name out there and recognizable. Isn’t that what every business wants as a beginner? You can promote your business indirectly on LinkedIn by providing a perspective in group discussions.
Interact, Interact and Interact
One of the greatest things about LinkedIn is that it helps you interact with the right people by showing you networks of connectivity. Browse through profiles of your connections and see who they’re involved with and you might discover a valuable lead. Sounds interesting, right?
So, the next time you are trying to promote your business, do not forget to consider LinkedIn.
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