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Understand a client on the first appointment

When you are meeting a potential client, what are the questions you ask yourself? The key thing, in a successful first meeting, is to understand what kind of person you have in front of you. Here’s how to do it.

Understanding a customer at a first meeting is not easy: there is a lot of information to “catch” when you meet a new person for the first time. Most of these are essential for your success: often your power comes from your ability to understand who you have before you. If you do not know where to start, here is a small “method” manual that, step by step, will help you to fill out a brief: a safe process that you can learn and apply to measure results.

If you think that your customer strategy is already effective, we have created a small checklist to help you understand what you should keep in mind when thinking about your product or the strategy to be realized for your client.

download the checklist

Compile it, adapt it to your needs, and share it with the rest of the team … It will be the starting point to understand how truly Data-Driven is your business.

How to write a brief

The brief is the document where the information is collected with the details of the customer concerned: for which company works, what it deals with, what is the industrial sector and the main competitors, problems and specific needs. In addition, the collaboration plan is drawn up on the brief: an initial reference to the strategy, the roadmap and the objectives.

All this will help you to plan every work phase and to elaborate a hypothesis of budget for the project. Here’s what to do once you’ve written your brief.

  1. Scheduling and planning of the meeting: the first point to be addressed is to make an appointment. Do not fill in the mail with question marks and options on calendar availability. It is essential to be brief: avoid references to your business or private life and not provide more than two or three clear and unambiguous options for the next meeting.
  2. Customer survey: once the agenda is locked, it begins to survey all the participants in the meeting. Who I am? What do they do exactly in their work? Who is the decision maker? Then concentrate on the Brand: when was it founded? What story does it have? What are your mission vision values? What are the competitors? What is the target market? And the typical customer? These will be the foundations on which to build a message and a strategy. Being prepared means increasing your chances of success and, doing some business intelligence, will help you understand whether to focus on working on the image, on a new product, on the optimization of the sales process, or if it is appropriate to find a method in response to crises.Immagine che mostra una lavagna con delle domande
  3. The first meeting: at this point you are face to face with the customer. Whether you play at home, away from home or in the neutral field this is the first real test to amaze your future client. The rules are simple: instilling trust and transmitting mutual value. Broken the ice and finished the pleasantries, comes the fateful moment of the first questions. And do not worry: at this stage it is not important what you have to say, as what your prospect has to say. Have the client sit down, collect all the necessary information and possibly change the strategy that you planned (the survey you performed should have provided you with more than one alternative).
  4. Define Buyer Person and Brand Identity: regardless of the need and the type of activity, this step is essential to understand if the company is aware of what it is selling and to whom. You should now have clear ideas about it, but it is good that these elements are perfectly shared to avoid misunderstanding. Who is the public interested? Who could be a potential user of the brand / product? It is not enough to identify oneself, because one would have a distorted view of the client’s reality due to our stereotypes and preconceptions. So we need to observe a sample, analyze its behavior and then propose an action plan based not on opinions, but on facts. And, in fact, you can surely find them starting from a good social media listening activity that will help you find the keystone and communicate better with your client.Immagine che mostra uno smartphone con i contatti dei profili social sulla home
  5. Determines the Unique Value Proposition (UVP): given the product (with its history and its positioning) and given a very specific target, our brief is almost complete. Now we need to define the UVP: the fixed and unique point of added value linked to the product or service. The UVP is fundamental for defining the tone of the collaboration and fixing all the aforementioned points: which phrases to use, what message to push, which images to show, which concepts to defend. To do this it is important that you define the keywords that can best represent the customer. For example: if the customer was responsible for a luxury car company, the main keywords could be “luxury”, “comfort”, “elegance”, “image”. These are then also important elements to understand what style and tone to have in order to “be on the same level” of dialogue of the person buyer. The purpose is to define the coordinates to create a perfect advertising campaign.
  6. Establish the first objectives of the collaboration: to conclude our brief, all that remains is to quantify the activities and hypothesize concrete numbers. The important thing is to be clear about the current positioning and understand where you want to get to be able to outline a business strategy. To bring work home and meet expectations, no special persuasion techniques are needed, but excellent business intelligence and social media monitoring tools. There are dozens of tools that can generate the kind of answers you should look for to improve a brief, but few of them use advanced technologies likeBig Data analysis (find out how Big Data Analytics are changing the world of work).

Start well to continue to better

In the everyday world the customer does not know what to expect from this appointment. And indeed it is difficult for only one meeting to suffice. But it is the first step. And who starts well is already halfway through the work.

Later we will talk about how it can help, in this type of appointments, to specify the benefits of listening to the network through specific tools.

If you follow all the suggested steps, you can improve your ability to produce a good analysis. And the better this analysis, the more it will help you to have clear ideas and understand the world of your client.

Marketer and Growth Consultants all over the world are learning how to handle data coming from social media thanks to Artificial Intelligence to plan a Business Intelligence strategy with greater chances of success. It is not just a question of tools, but of mind-set and awareness.If you want, we have created a small checklist to help you understand what you should keep in mind when thinking about your product or the strategy to be implemented for your client.

download the checklist

Fill it out, adapt it to your needs, and share it with the rest of the team… It will be the starting point to understand how truly Data-Driven your business is.

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