Richard Walker, director at Mustard, shares his client meeting-check list – with a difference.
I get a lot of enjoyment from getting out and about visiting different client offices.
There have been plenty of highlights.
Some of them particularly high. Be that near the top of the walkie-talkie in London, almost 50 floors up above Times Square in New York, or near the top of the MLC Centre in Martin’s Square, Sydney, with staggering views of the harbour and beyond.
Some of them particularly delightful. Be that presenting in the Duke and Duchess’s private quarters at Chatsworth, or the wonderfully futuristic ING House in Amsterdam, or a personal favourite – Chapter, a multi-artform cultural centre in Cardiff.
Without this blog becoming an unhumble brag, I’ve had the pleasure of presenting at the most gilded of guild halls, various football stadia and cricket grounds, other even more religious places of worship, and even a comedy club.
Then there are the wonderful smells when visiting our clients in the food & drink sectors – baking bread and biscuits, brewing beer, crisps, sweets and chocolate…
Of course, there are also VERY many of the identikit 1970s office estates akin to Crossbow House, Slough, where The Office was filmed. Despite what the exteriors say, I’ve seen so many brilliant inspiring interiors that ram home the client’s brand essence. “Don’t be a dick” emblazoned in huge letters probably a personal favourite. I’ve seen plenty of pool tables and table-tennis tables, but haven’t yet challenged a client to a game. I’m way too competitive, it wouldn’t end well.
But wherever and whenever we present, even in the most glamorous of buildings, a few things are almost guaranteed. This isn’t a client meeting check-list along the lines of “make sure you’ve rehearsed, make sure you have business cards, make sure you have matching shoes on” – more of a nod to the human quirks and idiosyncrasies that many of us share.
Here’s a few that immediately come to mind for me:
- Small talk from reception to the meeting room will almost inevitably involve the journey and / or the weather. (Of course, I’m going to say the journey was easy).
- I will most likely ask for a drink, and then more likely forget to drink it
- There will probably be a “Are we shaking hands or aren’t we?” moment. And maybe a “Am I coming around the table to you or are we leaning across?”.
- I will, more likely than not, have issues getting the HDMI cable in the right way around
- Most people in the room will still show pleasant surprise when the tech actually works
- There will be at least one person in the room who doesn’t contribute (yet they always seem to get away with it)
- I will, more often than not, attempt to leave the premises with my visitor name badge still hung around my neck.
Please tell me I am not the only one…