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Trustpoint Management Group-TX, LLC | Addison, TX

The more opportunities you have to interact with your clients, the better, and the beginning of the year is an opportune time to reach out and reconnect with your clients and prospects to get in front of them in the new year.

Below, I have outlined the four main components for productive meetings and conversations with your clients as the year kicks off.

1. Preparation

A client care meeting doesn’t start when you speak with them ¬– it starts back in your office as you review details on their business and what pains they’ve shared with you, if any. Attention to these details will help you carefully prepare for the meeting, and help you identify some potential solutions or scenarios for your client's business. It’s always important to make sure you’ve done your homework so you can ask more intelligent questions and show your clients you care enough to be prepared.

2. Setting the Stage

Now that you’re prepared for the meeting or conversation, it’s time to set the stage. Since it’s happening at the beginning of the year, it’s a great opportunity to review their activity over the past 12 months and discuss how you can best position them for the new year. We recommend using a VIP formula for this meeting: Victories, Impending Events, and Problems. It’s important to find out what’s working, what’s not working, and what changes may be needed in the near future.

This will help your client see where the gaps are, and what steps you both need to take to have a successful new year. Remember, it’s important to utilize active listening while your client describes the wins and losses of the past year, before you present a possible solution.

3. Recommending Action

Once you’ve clearly laid out the current scenario, it’s time to recommend action. If you’ve properly prepared and set the stage, all that’s left to present is a viable reason for acting now. Whether making a purchase decision can have tax implications, aligns with your clients’ annual budget, or will better prepare them for the future of their business, discover their incentive for a sense of urgency. Then, you can make a recommendation based on their needs, budget, and timeline for this year.

Once you present your recommendation, give your client or prospect a chance to process and respond. If your discovery and qualification was sufficient and you outlined both parties’ objectives and fears in the beginning of the meeting, you should have an easy time putting a deal together.

4. Next steps

Regardless of whether your client takes action or not, your end-game activity should be the same. Review what you covered in your meeting, plan for when you will interact again, and proceed to the most important step – asking for referrals.

Sometimes, getting a referral this time of year is even easier if your client doesn’t take action. If they see value in meeting with you they will want to return the favor, without a purchase, the best way to do that is through providing you with qualified referrals. They may know of someone else with an immediate need or new initiative for the new year.
The added benefit of asking for referrals at the end of the meeting is that it sets the expectation for you to ask again when you see them next. Getting into this routine and adding this step to your client care process will be extremely beneficial to your business.

The beginning of the year is a busy time for customer care professionals, but it’s also very important. It serves as a prime opportunity to reconnect with clients or prospects as you start a new year. By proper preparation, setting the stage, recommending action, and outlining next steps, you can be sure to maximize the potential with your future meetings.

 

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