Whether you’re planning a business meeting with a client in person or by using technology, it’s essential that you come to the session prepared. Every meeting should have an agenda that outlines who will attend the meeting and the purpose for holding it. The agenda should also include what each person plans to discuss. As a courtesy to clients, consider sending the agenda at least a week in advance to see if there is anything they would like to add or change. If so, make the changes and provide the client with a revised agenda.
Make Sure You’re Working with Current Information
As an accountant, your clients depend on you to provide them with the most current financial data available. If possible, we encourage you to bring numbers to client meetings from the close of the previous business day. This will make you look especially prepared as well as provide your clients with the most updated information and advice.
Research Answers to Likely Questions
If you have worked with a client in the past, you already know his or her most pressing financial concerns. When working with a client for the first time, you can assume that he or she will ask you a common question that many other clients have asked you as well. It shows you have prepared well for the meeting if you arrive at it prepared to talk about tax law changes or related concerns that a majority of your clients share.
Review the Services You Already Perform for the Client
Just as you don’t fully understand every service you hire out for, your clients won’t always be able to explain what you do for them. They know they have entrusted you with their finances and you help them to make the best investing and tax decisions. Client meetings are an excellent opportunity to briefly discuss what you already do and offer value-added services as well. Once clients have a better understanding of what you do and your value to them, they are more likely to want to engage you for even more services.
Be Friendly Yet Professional
Offering your client a beverage or snack and quickly asking about their family members by name is a friendly thing to do. However, you don’t want to devote more than a few minutes to either task as it takes time away from client meetings and can veer into territory that feels a bit too personal for them.
These are just four tips on how to better prepare for client meetings so you can provide improved service in the future. Your fellow members at Professional Accounting Small Business Association (PABSA) can give you more information on how they make client meetings as efficient as possible. You are also free to view our resources on this topic. These are just some of the many benefits of becoming a member today.