Whether you’re the CEO of a big tech firm or you’re a sales rep, meeting with clients in your home is an art. You have to impress your clients without going overboard, and make sure there’s nothing embarrassing going on like piles of trash that haven’t been taken out yet.
Since your home environment can influence your clients, you’ve probably done what you can to optimize your decor. However, you can always do more.
Create a feeling of luxury
Inviting your clients into a home that feels luxurious will help you create rapport with them. Appearances might seem superficial, but you can tell plenty about someone based on how they live.
Creating a feeling of luxury in your home where you meet with clients will send a message that you’re responsible, financially stable, and trustworthy. One way to do this is to make your fireplace and surrounding area look luxurious.
A fireplace isn’t just a fireplace – it creates your ambiance
A luxurious fireplace will do wonders when creating an environment for your clients. It doesn’t even have to be in use to create a positive impression. All you need is a beautiful hearth and mantle, and you can make any fireplace look luxurious.
In the surrounding area, whether it’s a sitting room or a dining room, you can add touches of luxury by hanging fine art on the walls or getting some oversized leather furniture. It really doesn’t take much.
Have snacks and beverages available
Snacks and beverages go a long way with impressing clients, mostly because they’re not going to expect you to serve them anything. The fact that you’re thinking about them will be appreciated, and you’ll automatically gain some more respect from them.
What should you serve your clients?
Here are some ideas for serving food and beverages to your clients.
· Cheese and crackers
· A selection of sliced meats
· Olives and feta cheese
· Protein bars
· Mini quiche
· Canned beverages like sparkling water or soda
· Bottles of water
· Black iced tea
Basically, stick to foods that can be eaten without silverware (finger foods or foods that can be eaten with a toothpick), and avoid anything messy like chips and salsa. Make the food light rather than a full meal, and avoid anything with grease (like potato chips).
How to serve snacks to your clients
You don’t have to be a short-order chef. Just set out a tray of food with a few beverages in the room where you’ll meet with your clients. Let them know they’re welcome to help themselves and leave it at that.
Place your attention on your clients
When you’re meeting with a client in your home, place all of your attention on them. Try to avoid talking about yourself unless it’s pertinent to the purpose of your meeting or unless they ask.
You’d be surprised at how deep your attention can impact another person. Most people don’t get anyone’s full attention. Being fully present with prospects and clients is a lost art. People are usually thinking about their next task, or they’re waiting to talk rather than listening, which makes them miss what the person is sharing.
When you listen to your clients with your full attention, they’ll feel it in the core of their being. They’ll know you’re fully present with them, and that will make them feel amazing. When they feel amazing around you, they may not be able to pinpoint exactly why, but that is your ticket to building a high level of rapport that will make you an automatic influencer.
When you have that level of rapport and respect from your clients, they’ll yield to your direction and really consider what you are offering them. Building rapport is the best way to build trust and create influence because it’s not contrived – it’s genuine.
Generosity isn’t just about sharing your wealth and material possessions. You can also be generous with people by giving them your time and more credit than they might deserve. For example, when a client shows up late for a meeting, instead of shaming them for being late, be generous and say something like, “thank-you for coming over and sharing your time with me today.”
Rapport creates influence
At the end of the day, rapport is the key to influencing your clients. Whether you’re trying to land an account or a sale, rapport is a must. Once your client feels like they can trust you, you’ll have the advantage.