The word “branding” tends to conjure up images of sizeable billboards, company logos, advertisements, etc. However, an approach towards successful brand-building is never confined to public exposure.
Branding that works, covers all fronts of your business- how your customers are treated by your employees, what’s your company culture like, how happy are your customers with the products, your mission statement, marketing techniques, and a lot more. In addition to all this, one important branding platform that people often forget is client meetings.
Branding in Client Meetings
It doesn’t matter whether a client is coming to your office for business or you are visiting them, you need to plan keeping branding in mind. If this is your first interaction with them in person, then you must create a good first impression by portraying your brand identity accurately.
It’s important to know that your every action and gesture is a part of your brand. How you talk, express, listen and respond, creates a picture of your company culture and brand.
It’s possible that a client is able to get a fairly good idea about your brand and business model in the very first meeting which is why you must prepare accordingly. In that regard, the following are some tips that are sure to help:
Plan and prepare
It’s alright to be somewhat informal and laid-back when a situation allows, but for the most part, you want to look and sound professional. And for that, you must do your homework in advance.
Learn about the client you are going to meet. You must have the answers to these questions:
- What’s the name of the client, their job title, and other general info?
- What’s the objective of the meeting? What problem do they want your company to solve?
- Do you have the data (statistics, prices, product features, etc.) that you may need to use during the meeting?
Stay focused, keep the client on track
It’s natural if you feel nervous when you are meeting a client for the first time. A new location and atmosphere can easily throw you off. However, it’s important that you retain your focus. You want to come off as a strong brand, one that they can trust and rely on.
If you have already memorized the key points you want to discuss with the client, then it can be easy to stay on track and show a level of professionalism that you are looking for.
Show your brand
It’s true that your personal interactions and behavior make for a large portion of your brand identity. However, you can’t complete the picture without including your physical or visual branding elements. For instance, you want to subtly present your company logo and other branding elements to tap into the unconscious power of branding.
If you are using a PowerPoint presentation (which, by the way, is highly recommended), then be sure that you customize it with your brand. In other words, add PowerPoint text effects, charts, diagrams, and all the important elements of a great presentation, but also have your company logo incorporated in the backgrounds and the images used. That said, don’t think that only a branded presentation file will be enough. You need a full branding suite, something like Presentation by Tailor brands. Not only your company logo and tagline (if there is one) should be on every single presentation slide, it should also be on the business cards you carry. If you are using a notepad/diary to take notes, then be sure to have the logo embossed on it too.
Basically, you want as many things as possible to have your company logo. Only professional companies that mean business go to great lengths to establish a strong brand identity through such methods, and you want to come off as one such company yourself.
In a world where startups in every industry are a dime a dozen, you want to make the most of successful branding to stand out from the rest and grow your business. In that enterprise, you can’t afford to overlook your brand identity during client meetings. So, take note of the points above and see what improvements you can bring. Your efforts are sure to reward you in the long run.