As most creative pros know, leading the client through the discovery meeting will help understand the full scope of what is needed, while giving the client an understanding of what’s involved to deliver a superior product.
But what you may not realize is the discovery meeting is your opportunity to nail your first impression with the client and set the relationship off on the right foot. Here are a few pointers on how you can use this opportunity to position yourself as a valuable problem-solver by discussing and uncovering any potential problems your client faces.
This may be obvious, but it’s so important that it needs to be mentioned. Do some research on who your client is and familiarize yourself with their brand, products and services, competitors and their industry. The goal is to put yourself in the shoes of your client. This research will allow you to uncover potential problems your client might be facing, and it allows you to formulate thought-provoking questions that will help position yourself as a problem-solver. Ask open-ended questions to promote conversation. These conversations will often lead to valuable information while impressing the client.
Being able to actively listen to the client and responding directly to their needs is what will make you stand out. By understanding what the client is saying, you can also adapt and filter out any of your prepared questions that may no longer be relevant. Hearing the client’s responses can help you design a tailored solution.
No matter how fantastic the discovery meeting was, both parties can still walk away a bit confused. That’s why a recap email discussing key events and next steps is essential to wrap up the process. Be sure to talk about what is going to happen next specifically mentioning any deadlines or meetings. A brief and thorough recap will be the finishing touch to a strong first impression.
The discovery process with a new client will set the tone for your professional relationship. The person who asks the most questions is the one in leading the meeting, so come prepared and take charge of the meeting. Present yourself as the solution to their problems and the client will never stop being impressed.