BDM Series - How to Keep Your Cool with Unprepared Clients
As a business development manager, one of the most important aspects of your job is to establish and maintain strong relationships with clients. However, even when you have done everything possible to prepare for a meeting or presentation, there are times when clients may not have done their homework. This can be frustrating, but there are steps you can take to ensure that the meeting is still productive and successful.
First and foremost, it is important to remain calm and professional. Even if you are frustrated that the client has not done their homework, it is important to maintain a positive attitude and remain focused on the goals of the meeting. Remember that the client may have other priorities or may not have had the time to prepare as thoroughly as they would have liked.
One strategy you can use is to ask open-ended questions that encourage the client to share their thoughts and ideas. This can help to uncover any gaps in their understanding and allow you to provide additional information or clarification. For example, you may ask, "Can you tell me more about your goals for this project?" or "What are your expectations for the outcomes of our partnership?"
Another approach is to provide resources and information to the client in real-time during the meeting. This can be done by sharing relevant data, case studies, or industry reports that support your pitch or proposal. By doing so, you can help the client to better understand the value of your offering and make an informed decision.
It is also important to be flexible and adaptable during the meeting. If the client's lack of preparation means that the meeting may have to be rescheduled or extended, be open to making those adjustments. By showing a willingness to work with the client, you can build trust and demonstrate your commitment to their success.
Finally, it is important to follow up after the meeting to ensure that the client has all of the information and resources they need to make an informed decision. This can include sending additional materials or answering any follow-up questions they may have. By taking these extra steps, you can help to solidify the relationship and ensure that the client feels supported and valued.
In conclusion, while it can be frustrating when clients do not do their homework, it is important to remain calm, flexible, and professional. By asking open-ended questions, providing real-time resources, and following up after the meeting, you can help to ensure that the client has all of the information they need to make an informed decision. Ultimately, this can lead to stronger relationships and more successful partnerships in the long term.