In a previous blog, we talked about why we at Pink Pig hold annual review meetings with you guys.
For us, having these more informal-style chats allows us to get to know each other on a more personal level, to understand your goals, and to tailor what we do to be the best we can for everyone individually.
In this blog, we’re going to talk about if, and how, you can implement similar meetings with your own client base, and whether it really is worth taking the time to do so, like we say it is!
First of all, let’s tackle whether this is something that will help you.
Of course, this hugely depends on what it is that you’re providing to your customers. For example, if you’re a corner shop and your customers pretty much pop in for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread, then scheduling a Zoom call with them to discuss their goals might be a bit overkill! But, if you are someone who has repeat customers for a service you’re providing, and especially if that service is able to be adapted to each client, then this is definitely something for you.
Note! – even if you are the quick point-of-sale type business, like the corner shop, for example, you can still glean information in subtle ways. It could be just having a chat whilst your customer’s in-store (‘’hey, nice to see you in here again’’ / ‘’hello, is this your first time here?’’’, ‘’is there anything I could help you with?’’ / ‘’is there anything you’ve not been able to find today?’’ etc). Another thing that works well for many business is periodically sending out little feedback surveys to your email list.
Whatever your business, please do read on, because knowing as much as you can about your customers, and therefore being able to provide exactly what they want, is going to be what keeps them coming back to you over anyone else, time and time again.
The purpose of a review meeting, a feedback form, or that little chat, is to find out the following;
- Your customer’s business goals,
- Their personal goals,
- The challenges they face trying to reach them,
- And what you can do to help them get there
And this is the kind of order that the meeting / chat / survey should take as well. The last thing anyone wants is to feel that the only reason someone’s talking to them is to sell to them. But if you can switch your mentality from ‘selling’, to ‘helping’, you’ll become a real person, rather than a cold-hard-cash business, and the sales will flood in anyway! Instead of asking questions like, ‘How much would you pay for…?’ or ‘Have you tried our …?’, try leading with, ‘So, what gets you out of bed in the morning?’ or ‘Why did you start on this path?’ Straight away, the personal interest shines through, and, although you do want it to lead to a sale, the customer feels heard, and not just one of a list you’re trying to extract money from!
Okay, so, sounds like a good idea, but how do I go about setting these up?
We call them ‘client review meetings’, but you can call these anything that you feel applies best to what you’re doing. This could be,
- Check-in chats,
- Progress reports,
- Getting to know you sessions,
- Help us help you!
Whatever you call it, it is important that these are ‘complimentary’. Again, this meeting isn’t for the hard sell. This meeting is to make you and your customer more human to each other. That ‘free’ hour of work, although you’re not technically ‘making money’ in that time, will cement your relationship with the client, prove to them that you care about them, and ensure income from them in the future – so it is worth investing your time into.
As we spoke about before, for our meetings, you’ll receive a pre-work questionnaire, which we really do appreciate you taking a few minutes to fill in! We really would recommend you coming up with something similar that you can send out before your own meetings too. Come up with a template of questions that will get the specific info that you need. Not every business requires the same. So, whilst we, as accountants, may ask ‘’How well do you feel you understand your business finances?’’, someone else may ask ‘’How well do you feel you communicate with your team?’’, for example.
And here’s a big one; if these are existing clients, this is the time to ask for some feedback – however positive or negative it may be! You can view these as review meetings of yourself and your own business as much as of the client!
So, what should you personally be doing during these meetings?
Well, we all know the importance of body language don’t we? So whether it’s in person, or on Zoom, do your best to make your client feel like you’re really listening. It is good to make some brief notes during, but try not to be tied to scribbling down every word, but be present in the conversation. We all have different levels of people skills and conversational skills, but one thing that will truly help you is mastering the art of ‘Engagement’. We’re trying to prove why a client needs us, aren’t we? So, a skilful ‘engager’ gradually steers the conversation from asking the client questions, to having the client ask the questions – finding the gaps in their knowledge, which will show why they need you! Whilst this is a conversational skill that really comes with time and practice, try getting to the point where you ask searching questions about the business, relating to your area of expertise, such as; ‘How would you set a budget to reach your goals?’ or ‘How could you improve your social media presence?’, and soon, you’ll find them asking your opinion, and giving you the chance to show them what you can do!
As we’ve seen, client review meetings, catch up chats, whatever you want to call them, are an invaluable tool to your business, in helping you to really tap into your niche in the market. Although these are great for continuing to work with existing clients, you can also implement these personal chats with new prospects, helping them feel at ease in communicating with you.
Just in case you needed any more convincing, see how you like this stat;
- Only 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact,
- A further 3% are made on the 2nd,
- Another 5% on the 3rd,
- 10% more sales are made on the 4th contact,
- Which means that a whopping 80% of sales take 5 or more contacts between supplier and customer.
So, without being annoying, of course, as many times as you can connect with someone, the more likely it is you’ll make the sale. As effective as a social media post, a mailing list, a webinar is, think how much of an impact you can make with some one-to-one time.
In conclusion – please do attend your own review meeting with us when it comes around, we want to get to know you as well as we can. And think about starting to do something similar yourself with your clients. If you would like any further tips and advice, as always, please do feel free to drop us an email and we can chat.