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Planning the perfect client meeting + agenda template

Planning the perfect client meeting + agenda template Photo

If we’ve learned anything from the past years it’s that the office isn’t about to disappear, and neither are face to face meetings. It may have been a discussion at one point, but with 90% of companies saying they plan to have returned to the office by the end of 2024, it’s safe to say physical client meetings are still going to be on the table.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking to upsell a client account, reduce the chance of a customer switching to a competitor or foster new opportunities within an existing account creating a connection through physical meetings can be invaluable.

But before you send out the invitation you need to have a plan. Planning the perfect client meeting will help you ensure that you meet your goals.

So, let’s take a look at how you get there.

Why you should host client meetings instead of visiting

The founder of SaaStr and EchoSign, Jason Lemkin, said “I never lost a customer I actually visited in person.” And while he may have been hyperbolic in his statement, he’s not wrong to claim that taking the time to build a relationship with a client face to face can be a huge advantage.

So, now you’re probably asking yourself, why don’t we just follow Jason Lemkin’s advice and visit the client?

And it’s a good question. In some situations traveling yourself might be the right choice. It might be easier for your client to stay where they are as you come to them either because they have a busy schedule and are needed at their facility or because they don’t have the budget to travel.

But visiting the client also means you give up your home-turf advantage.

If you invite your client to come visit you instead of jumping at the gun to do some traveling yourself, you’ll have everything you need to make a good impression.

Setting everything up the meeting room perfectly is much easier, finding a good restaurant for that post-meeting dinner is easier when you know the city you’re in, and you get a chance to show your appreciation by hosting them instead of the other way around.

When to visit and when to invite your clients to come to you

Figuring out when to visit a client and when to invite them to you largely depends on the type of company the client represents and what it is you aim to achieve.

For instance, it might be a better idea for you to visit when we’re talking about smaller companies who might not have the budget to travel, or when you’re planning meetings that require a large number of participants from the client side - like if you need to talk to users as well as executives.

On the other hand, it might be better to host meetings to kick off partnerships or for signing deals in an environment where you have complete control over the visitor experience.

Of course you also have to consider the length of the meeting you are proposing. You wouldn’t want to suggest that a client travel for hours to participate in a 30 minute meeting.

How to plan a client meeting

The point of inviting a client to your office is always to achieve some kind of goal, let’s not kid ourselves. And whether your goal is increasing revenue or strengthening your relationship with a client, making sure you succeed in that goal depends on you having a good plan before your clients arrive.

Prepare for conversation

Before your client arrives, you need to make sure you are fully updated on the state of the client relationship. Who are their contacts at your company? Have they raised any tickets lately? Are there any issues that need to be addressed?

You need to know this, because these are things that will undoubtedly come up during your visit.

Secondly you need to understand the reality of your client. What is new in their industry? What opportunities or threats do they face currently? Did they release a new product or receive an award recently? Did their organization make the news?

Being prepared not only to talk about the relationship between your company and theirs, but also to small talk about their organization in the grand scheme of things will help make a good impression.

Settle who you’re inviting

When you invite a client team to come to your facility you need to make sure you invite everyone who will be relevant for the conversations you are going to have while they visit — postponing a decision because you didn’t invite a specific person will not give off a good impression.

Another thing you need to plan out is who needs to be involved from your organization, and you need to make sure they are available, and present in the office when your clients arrive. There’s little point to your clients making the trip if most of the meetings are going to be remote after all.

Plan out their arrival

You’ve probably heard the saying that you’ll never get a second chance at a first impression, but even if it’s a client you’ve met with before, making sure their visit starts off in the right way can be absolutely imperative to making sure you succeed in your goals.

And a good way to make sure you start out on a good note is to plan out the arrival of your clients. Doing so, you need to consider the following:

  • Make sure someone greets them at the door and gives them a quick tour of your office
  • Make sure there’s a workstation available to each person arriving from the client team
  • Make sure your team is on top of any dietary restrictions or allergies for members of the client team

Make dinner reservations

Traditionally a client visit includes taking your client out for a nice dinner as a token of appreciation, and this is also one of the reasons why inviting your clients to visit you might be a preferable solution to you rushing to visit them. It will give you a much better opportunity to host your clients.

Hosting the meeting in an area you are familiar with lets you choose a restaurant that has options for every diet as well as an atmosphere that is suitable for conversation.

Wrap-up your client meeting

Your work isn’t done when the visit is over. After the client leaves you will need to create wrap-up reports for internal teams to use, which covers key elements of the visit like any agreements put in place, and you also need to stay in touch with your clients after they get back to their offices.

VIP client meeting agenda template

Use this quick template to make sure your clients visiting your office have an amazing experience.

  • Get settled and set up desks and/or a boardroom for your visitors.

11.00: Intro meeting (1 hour)

  • Overview of status and updates
  • Add any bullet points you need to cover in the meeting here
  • Challenges
  • New opportunities
  • Areas of concern

12.00: Lunch

13.00: Meetings

  • Add any bullet points you need to cover in the meeting here

17.00: Wrap up meeting (30 minutes)

  • General questions
  • Items to be addressed
  • Enhancement opportunities

18.30: Dinner

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