If you have been forced to work from home because of COVID-19, or you are a sole trader with no fancy office building, you may have found it difficult to entertain the idea of meeting new clients from your own house. Therefore, here are five top tips on how you can impress clients even while working from home.
Make sure your home office is client-friendly
When you are working from home, it can be difficult to separate your home life from your work life. In fact, during the start of the coronavirus-related stint of mandatory working from home, four in ten employees said their work-life balance had deteriorated due to the change.
However, if you do succeed in effectively separating your home life from your work life, as 52% of Brits have done as of January 2021, you could enjoy a better work-life balance than might have previously been possible. The benefit of this is that you can enjoy a healthy work-life balance, and make sure that your home office is only used for work – keeping that home office client-friendly.
Consider a virtual office
A virtual office allows you to work from home but create an “office” which is accessed over the internet. This can come complete with a receptionist to answer your calls. You can also create a presence in a desirable location without needing to actually rent a permanent physical office there.
For example, it’s possible to get virtual offices provided with an address in a prestigious area of London or another major UK city when, in reality, you are working from the comfort of your own home outside that area.
Clients will garner a fantastic impression of your company from seeing its new, “official” address, meaning that you can more easily win new business without having to change your current working pattern.
Wine and dine them
If you need to have physical meetings, then why not use the opportunity to take your client out for coffee or a fancy meal. We all know that people love to be wined and dined, so this is a great way to handle meetings without needing to invite them to your home.
Coffee shops and restaurants are also neutral and informal, which will allow both you and your client to relax when conducting your meeting. However, this might depend on the client, as some might find this distracting or unprofessional.
Handle everything professionally
No matter where you end up meeting your client, remember to stay professional at all times. This means arriving promptly, being informed and prepared and dressing for the occasion. While you might be able to get away with wearing shorts and sweatpants at home, it wouldn’t be appropriate for an in-person client meeting.
It can also be a good idea for you to turn your phone off or on silent. A constantly ringing and buzzing phone can be a big distraction and give off a bad impression.
Before the day of the meeting, prepare an agenda so that you know exactly what you want to discuss. You can also distribute the agenda to everyone else involved in the meeting to make sure they are also organised.
Make sure you print off any presentations, business cards, facts or figures you might need as props for the meeting. Showing up with a multitude of information, ready and prepared, will always help to make a good impression with a client.