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How to properly prepare for every client call
Client calls are an integral part of a freelancer or business's success. Whether discussing a project, providing updates, or addressing any concerns, a client call is a crucial opportunity to demonstrate professionalism, build relationships, and ensure client satisfaction.
However, proper preparation is essential to make the most of these calls. In this blog post, we'll cover everything you need to know to properly prepare for every client call, including tips for scheduling the call, researching the client, preparing for the call, conducting the call, and following up afterward.
Your guide to client call preparations
How you prepare for client calls can significantly impact their outcome, thus affecting your bottom line. In this blog post, we will explore how to properly prepare for every client call, from scheduling to following up, ensuring that you are always best representing yourself and your business.
Importance of client calls
to provide you with an opportunity to engage with your clients on a personal level and better understand their business needs, goals, and challenges. Effective communication with your clients can lead to long-lasting relationships and positive word-of-mouth marketing, leading to more business in the long run.
Benefits of proper preparation
Not only do properly prepared calls to help you understand the client better, but they also show your professional maturity, expertise, and interest in working with them. Proper preparation can help you identify opportunities yet to be discovered and better understand client needs. By properly preparing your calls, you save both your time and your client's time, as you present a clear agenda and objectives for the discussion.
Scheduling the call
Scheduling the client call is the first step in the preparation process. When picking a date and time for the call, it is crucial to be mindful of the client’s time zone and availability. In addition, it is important to set an appropriate duration for the call that considers scheduled activities and can accommodate any unforeseen interruptions or delays.
Guidelines for scheduling the call
When scheduling the call, it is recommended to send the client an email outlining the purpose, the duration, and the topics to be discussed. You might also include any necessary materials or information the client may need beforehand. It is also helpful to request confirmation of receipt and assure the client of your flexibility in rescheduling if needed.
Tips for sending out reminder emails
a day or two before the scheduled call can help maximize client attendance and minimize cancellation rates. The reminder email should include the call's date, time, and details, along with a note emphasizing the call's importance. You may also request confirmations and considerations for any necessary rescheduling.
Remember, the scheduler sets the tone for the call, so establishing a strong foundation with clients will lead to a positive client experience.
Researching the client
Before jumping on a client call, conducting thorough research on the client and their business is crucial. This will help you understand their needs and concerns, making the call more productive and fruitful. Here are some pointers to keep in mind while researching a client:
Begin by collecting information on the client's business and their industry. You can review their website, social media channels, and relevant news articles. This will help you identify any unique selling points of their business and potential challenges they may be facing.
Analyzing past communication
Review previous emails, messages, or calls with clients to identify their communication styles, concerns, and priorities. This will help you tailor your approach to the client and address their concerns.
Identifying pain points
Listen actively to the client's problems and concerns and take note of their pain points. Look for ways your services can help address these issues and offer solutions during the call.
Make sure you clearly understand what the call is about, the purpose of the discussion, and the outcomes you hope to achieve. This will help you stay focused and on track during the call. Be upfront about your available time and set expectations for any follow-up calls or communications. Setting these expectations can help you establish trust with the client and build a successful working relationship.
Preparing for the call
Proper preparation is crucial for conducting client calls. This section outlines the key steps to ensure you are well-prepared for every client call.
Ensure all necessary equipment is working properly
Before the call, test all the necessary equipment, such as your microphone, camera, and internet connection. You want to avoid any technical difficulties during the call that could disrupt the flow of the conversation or give a bad impression to the client.
Create an agenda for the call
Creating an agenda for the call will help you stay on track and ensure you cover all the important topics. This will also show the client that you are prepared and have considered the call. Make sure to share the agenda with the client before the call so they can prepare any questions they might have.
Write down important questions to ask the client
Prepare a list of questions for the client to understand their needs and requirements better. This will also help you tailor your services to their specific needs. Ask open-ended questions that prompt clients to expand their thoughts and ideas.
Create a checklist for the call
Finally, prepare a checklist of things you must do during the call. This may include taking notes, recording the call (with the client's permission), or following up on specific action items. A checklist will help keep you focused during the call and ensure you get everything important.
Conducting the call
To make the most out of client calls, it is important to conduct them professionally and effectively. Here are some tips for achieving that:
Build rapport with the client
Building rapport is a critical aspect of conducting client calls. It helps to establish a connection and trust with the client, making them more likely to be open and forthcoming with information. To build rapport, start by greeting the client appropriately and using their name. Ask how their day is going and engage in small talk before diving into the meat of the conversation.
Actively listen during the call
Active listening is key to understanding the client's perspective and needs. This involves paying attention to what the client is saying, asking clarifying questions, and repeating what they said to ensure mutual understanding. Being an active listener also means avoiding distractions such as checking emails or browsing social media during the call.
Keep the conversation on track
It is easy for calls to veer off course, particularly if the client is talkative or disorganized. As a freelancer or business owner, taking the lead and keeping the conversation on track is important. This can be done by referring to the agenda or checklist, asking targeted questions, and politely redirecting the conversation if it drifts.
Record the call (with the client's permission)
Recording the call can be useful for reviewing important details or discussions that take place during the call. However, it is important to obtain the client's permission before doing so and to explain the purpose and potential benefits of recording. As a business, storing the recording securely and ethically is important, protecting the client's privacy.
Following up after the call
After the client call, it is essential to follow up with the client to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This is also an excellent opportunity to establish a stronger relationship with the client and show them that you care about their success. Here are some tips on how to follow up after the call.
Send a summary
Sending a summary of what was discussed during the call is paramount. This summary must include the action items that were agreed upon, deadlines that were set (if any), and other key takeaways from the conversation. It is also a good idea to share any relevant information or resources that were mentioned during the call.
Identify areas where further research may be necessary
During the client call, you may have identified areas for further research. Take time after the call to dive deep into these areas to better understand the client's business and their industry. This will help you solve your client's problems better and ultimately enhance your reputation as a thought leader in your industry.
Set up future meetings
Setting up future meetings or touchpoints with the client is essential. This will keep you in constant communication with the client and help you stay on top of any new developments or changes in their business. It will also help reinforce the client's trust in you as a reliable business partner.
Easily connect with your clients through B12’s scheduling and contact manager
Customer calls are a crucial aspect of any successful business, and it is necessary to have a solid plan in place to follow up with clients. To make it easier for you, B12 offers high-quality online scheduling and contact managing services built into your website. B12 is the all-in-one platform that enables you to look professional online and reach new clients.
B12's online scheduling service offers simple scheduling that effortlessly interacts with your website without the use of third parties or delays. Additionally, updating and setting your availability information is simple. If a conflict arises, online scheduling makes it simple for you and your clients to reschedule or cancel. Meanwhile, B12's contact manager automatically gathers all of your company's contacts, emails, messages, forms, and notes in one location, making it a practical way to arrange and quickly engage any prospect or client.
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