The first meeting with a new prospective client is often the most critical. A good meeting increases the chances that the client will work with you . You’ll want to come prepared with facts about the market, about the property, and about your expertise, and you’ll want to package it in a way that shows you know how to build a strong partnership. If you think about it, that first meeting is a lot like a first date – if it’s successful, it will lead to a second meeting and more – which, in this case, is a commission check.
We spoke to the people experts at match.com to get some tips about how to create a successful first client meeting.
1. Leave them a reason to follow up.
Meeting with a prospect is about empowering them with information, but why buy the milk when you can get the cow for free? Kimberly Neumann, Match.com dating expert, says, “Give [prospective clients] a reason to see you again and learn more about you.”
How do you do this? Show a sample CMA or other information and then offer to develop a customized property comparison report specific to their needs. The goal is to earn their business, not start working “for free.”
2. Do your homework.
Sometimes it’s a little scary how much Google can tell you about a person. Before your meeting, Google yourself and your client. You may find some information that will be helpful in building a rapport or finding the right property. In addition, it’s always good to know what your prospective client knows about you.
3. Hide the smartphone.
Showing you’re connected is cool, but showing you’re distracted is not. Treat client meetings the same way you would treat a job interview. You wouldn’t interrupt a potential employer to answer your phone, right? Start your meeting off right and put you phone away.
Match.com author Julie Spira says your keeping your device on and allowing it to buzz during your conversation “will give the impression that you are waiting for a better invitation to come in.” Buyers can be hard to come by, so treat the ones you have like they’re valuable.
4. Focus on the good
Buyers have heard enough about the sad economy and negative market news. When you’re fortunate enough to sit down with a buyer, give them something different. While there’s still plenty of negative information that you’ll have to acknowledge, be sure to focus on the market opportunities, benefits of homeownership, and why you’re the best agent to help them.
Dating author and expert Amy Spencer says, “Nobody likes that SNL character Debbie Downer, so do what you can to be the most positive version of yourself.”
5. Listen up
This last tip is the most important of all. Don’t forget that your initial client meeting is an interview and a two-way conversation, not simply a presentation that you give. We all like sales people who “get” us – and the way to ensure that your prospective clients come away with that impression that is to really listen to what they have to tell you and make sure you remember it.
Like a first date, a successful initial client meeting will leave both of you eager to take the next step. Good luck on your next client meeting!