Running Better Client Meetings: 5 Secrets for Success

Running great client meetings is vital for building and forging strong relationships and driving business success. Many meetings fall short, and in a client meeting sense, opportunities are lost alongside time. To prevent this, we have unveiled our secrets to client meeting success.

by 

James Moffatt

-

May 29, 2024

What is a Client/Customer Success Meeting?

A client or customer success meeting is a massively crucial interaction that takes place between a service provider and their client, aimed at making sure the client's needs are being met, their goals are being achieved, and any issues are being smoothed out or addressed promptly and thoroughly. These meetings can cover basically anything within the relationship between client and provider, but usually go into topics such as project updates, performance reviews, strategy planning, and troubleshooting. The primary objective is to fortify this working relationship, ensure client satisfaction, and align on next steps to achieve mutual success.

How to Introduce Yourself in a Client Meeting

While we introduce this article and the importance of the client meeting, we should work out how you will introduce yourself too. So, before diving into the secrets of running successful client meetings, let's tackle a fundamental question: "What is the very first thing you should do when meeting a new client?" Introducing yourself properly sets the tone for the entire meeting, so you want to set a good first impression for your customer or client. A proper introduction involves not just stating your name and role but also expressing enthusiasm for the partnership and going into the details of why you are both on that call, or in that room. For example, you should outline the meeting agenda to set clear expectations.

Now, let's delve into our five secrets for running better client meetings, so that we can make sure your next one is a resounding success.

1. Preparation is Key

Hardly a secret, but massively important regardless. Successful client meetings start long before the meeting itself. As an old teacher of mine used to say, "I wish you good preparation, not good luck". When it comes to meeting clients or customers, you make your own luck by preparing well. This preparation can involve anything from fully understanding the client's business and their goals, through to considering and preparing for any challenges they might be facing. Here are some preparation tips:

  • Know Your Client: Research the client’s industry, recent news, and their competitors. Make sure you go into that meeting knowing them like the back of your hand. If you need help here, use CRM tools to gather relevant information about past interactions you had with the client and current projects.
  • Set Objectives: Define what you want to accomplish during the meeting. This could be done beforehand, or for a really hands on approach, discuss this with the other meeting participant/s when the meeting starts. Quick tip - start with reviewing progress, addressing issues, or planning future steps.
  • Create a Meeting Agenda: An agenda helps keep the meeting focused and productive. It should include all the topics you plan to discuss, time allocations for each topic, and any necessary materials, but for more detail on this, check out 7 key meeting agendas here.

Using tools like Bubbles Notetaker can greatly enhance your preparation in individual or recurring meetings. Bubbles can join your meetings automatically, transcribe the conversation, record the session, and send you a tailored follow-up email post-meeting. This allows you to focus on the client without worrying about taking notes or missing key points, ensuring that you can keep the conversation going effectively. Why is Bubbles also great for recurring meetings? This is because you can quickly refer to your meeting recap via your Bubbles Notetaker area for information on the last meeting to inform yourself of what needs to be done in preparation for this next one.

Statistics and Studies

Why bother preparing? Well, according to ScienceOfPeople, well-prepared meetings can lead to a 50% increase in productivity when you do sit down to discuss. Also, a survey by HubSpot found that 82% of clients appreciate when their service providers are well-prepared and knowledgeable about their needs. Who wouldn't prefer that?

2. Build Solid Communication and Trust

You will struggle to have a successful working relationship without building rapport with your client, so pay great attention to this. Trust is the foundation of any business relationship and can significantly impact client retention and satisfaction, as well as the glaringly obvious factor of whether they have or don't have a desire to work with you. Here are some strategies to build rapport and trust:

  • Start with Small Talk: Everyone is in too much of a rush these days, but beginning the meeting with a few minutes of casual conversation can really build a personal connection and show a personal touch.
  • Active Listening: Show genuine interest in what the client is saying. When meeting online, your virtual meeting etiquette is super important to showing that you understand and care for their concerns.
  • Be Transparent: Be honest about what you can and cannot do. Transparency builds trust and sets realistic expectations. There's no point lying, and if anything, a prospective client will appreciate the truth more in an introductory meeting.

Again here, we suggest the use of an AI notetaker like Bubbles, so that you can focus more on the conversation and less on note-taking, allowing you to engage more deeply with the client.

Statistics and Studies

To fortify the importance of trust and communication, let's look at some more stats. A study by PwC found that 89% of consumers believe trust is a hugely important factor in their relationships with businesses. To pair with this, Salesforce reports that 79% of business buyers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor. This might mean that you need to have a few more follow-up meetings, or nurture that relationship more in an asynchronous manner to build trust, but it will be worth it.

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3. Keep the Meeting Structured and On-Track

Don't just create a well-structured meeting agenda, but actually stick to it. That will go most of the way towards keeping the conversation focused on the necessary topics, but here are some more tips for maintaining structure:

  • Manage Time Wisely: Put some time slots in place for each agenda item and be strict with them. If a discussion runs over time, consider suggesting to revisit this topic later, either via Bubbles or with a follow-up meeting. Leave this up to your clients, as their preferences will vary depending on what types of customer they are.
  • Summarize Key Points: At the end of each agenda item, summarize the key takeaways and any action items (or let this be done for you).

Statistics and Studies

Not to fill your brains with stats, but let's consider why structure is key in a factual sense. A report by Atlassian shows that the average employee attends 62 meetings per month, and ineffective meetings can waste up to 31 hours of productivity each month. We all sit through ineffective time-sink meetings, but by using tools and techniques to keep meetings on track you can significantly improve how you are leading meetings and the outcomes you get from them.

4. Follow Up with Clear Action Items

After your meeting, it’s massively important to follow up with a clear and concise summary of what was discussed and the next steps. This is applicable to every type of meeting, but especially to those where you are trying to build a working relationship. Whether you send your follow-up yourself, or let Bubbles do this for you with automatically generated and personalized emails, you will need to keep a few things in mind, such as clarity, speed, detail, action items, decisions and next steps. Tip - check out our full guide to follow-up emails.

Statistics and Studies

I said this is applicable to every meeting, but why exactly is this? For one, research by the American Psychological Association shows that clear communication and follow-up can increase project success rates by 30%. Applying this to client relations, I would hope to see more successful conversions being made by distributing the meeting minutes promptly and efficiently. Also, a study by McKinsey & Company found that effective follow-up improves team collaboration and productivity by 33%, so even if it's just for internal benefit, it's equally as important.

5. Utilize Technology to Enhance Meetings

I know I sound like a broken record, but leveraging technology is crucial for having more productive client or sales meetings with customers and better effectiveness when it comes to working relations. You will come across as a prepared and professional individual when you optimize the meeting environment, which will do wonders when talking to clients. Tools like Bubbles Notetaker provide several benefits:

  • Real-Time Transcription: Capture every word of the meeting accurately, reducing the risk of missing important details.
  • Meeting Recording: Record the meeting for future reference, allowing you to revisit the discussion if needed.
  • Automated Summaries: Receive an automated email summary post-meeting, ensuring that all key points and action items are documented.
  • Screen Recording: Use Bubbles’ screen recording feature to provide additional context for complex topics or to clarify action items.

Statistics and Studies

According to a report by Gartner, digital tools can reduce meeting time by 18%, allowing for more efficient and effective client interactions. To beat that and to give some stats of our own, we have found that by using Bubbles (specifically to record and send a bubble), you are able to reduce the amount of virtual meetings you are holding by 38%. Even if this is just for typical meetings like daily stand-up, you will begin to see huge benefits in terms of time saved.

Conclusion

Running great client meetings is a skill that has to be nurtured over time, but with these secrets, we would hope you can fast track the mastering or this skill. This should set you up to build strong relationships, ensure client satisfaction, and drive business success. Consider cutting corners when it comes to optimizing meetings, with tools like Bubbles being available to streamline the process and ensure productive and efficient client meetings every single time.

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More from Bubbles

Collaborate better with your team

Get your point across using screen, video, and audio messages. Bubbles is free, and offers unlimited recordings with a click of a button.

Get started free

Make your
meetings matter

Use AI to record, transcribe, and summarize meetings into actions. Bubbles is your home for after-meeting collaboration.

Try it free in < 2 min

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