Home and office meeting with clients is possible if you organize suitable working space with no distractions, ample parking lot, and your clients have a clear direction.
Working from home gained momentum during Covid 19 pandemic. Still, even after lifting restrictions in many economies, more people have discarded the rat-race lifestyle and prefer meeting clients at home.
Many people have transformed their basements or guest houses into exclusive home offices, where they can perform business tasks. Apart from tax benefits, setting up a home office has several advantages, including:
- Saves money for renting and maintaining office space
- Flexible working hours that allow you to attend to your family matters
- Good for the environment
- No traffic jam
Your clients will likely close the deal if they feel that your home office is client-friendly and have a professional look. However, the challenge is making sure that your living space activities do not interfere with your home office space. Your clients need to see that meeting you at home is better than in the office. Your office space should be organized and presentable.
Clients should not find a heap of clothes and food particles in your home office space! Your home office should do the initial trick if you want to close the deal. Let’s consider ten tips to have successful home office meetings with clients.
1. Ensure your parking is unobtrusive
Some clients you will meet at your home office come while driving their cars, and they will need direction and ample parking space. When making meeting appointments, ensure your clients know how to reach your home smoothly and where they will park their car.
You can organize a parking lot in front of your house or your home parking garage if you have a big compound. However, if your home office space is in an apartment, you can secure additional parking spaces for visitors to avoid your clients constantly using up the visitor’s parking space.
Ensure that your clients do not always park in front of other people’s houses, as this can create annoyance in the neighborhood and result in your client’s car being ticketed or towed. If a client experiences difficulty with parking, you may lose them because they might think you are not ready to meet them at home. But if they had a seamless parking experience, they are likely to hold you in high regard and continue giving you business.
2. Premises Appeal
Your premises should be well-maintained to give your clients a good impression when they come for meetings. Your space should be attractive and inviting. Be sure to keep toys and cleaning equipment out of sight. Clean the office room and arrange everything properly with all the requirements and office accessories such as files, laptops, and printers before clients arrive. Declutter your home business space regularly.
Your house paint should be good, lawns mowed, and garden beds weed-free if you are a homeowner. Ensure that trees, shrubs, and bushes are neatly pruned.
3. Perfect Space for Meeting Separately
The meeting room should be separate from other rooms. Privacy is important during a meeting. Seating arrangements should be comfortable and positioned to allow face-to-face discussion. Ensure the room should be well lit, properly ventilated, quiet, and peaceful to enhance your client’s comfortability. The calmer and more peaceful your space is, the more effective discussions you will have, which will contribute to a successful meeting.
If you have small children and pets, you can have someone look after them while you meet with your clients. Children and pets may cause unnecessary interruptions and spook the client during the meeting.
Give attention to your home business office décor. Avoid displaying distracting or potentially offensive décor in your client’s view. If you must have décor in your home office space, ensure it creates the correct professional image for your business. Pay attention to your furnishings and avoid having overused, tatty stuff.
4. Make Sure the Path to Your Client Space is Visible and Clear
Your clients should not wander trying to figure out your house and access to your meeting room. Have clear signage to guide your client to the meeting room. The path should also be unobstructed and clear of potential hazards such as toys or slippery walkways.
Stairs should be clean and have proper railings and non-slip surfaces. Remember, you can be liable for any client accidents on your premises; thus, having adequate business insurance is good. If your client is disabled, make sure your home business office is handicapped and accessible.
5. Keep Your Children Away While Conducting Meetings
If your children are home, make sure they do not disturb or interrupt you during your meeting with clients. Your children’s manners are a reflection of you. Clients will pick this up and create an impression of you. You can avoid the embarrassment by:
- Training your children on how to behave before you set up a home office
- Put “do not disturb or knock before you enter” at your home office door.
- Setting a meeting where your kids rarely go.
- Instruct them not to enter the meeting room crying, talking, or touching things while you are having a meeting with a client.
Your clients may be uncomfortable with your children’s interference and may choose to let you down informally. Instruct your children not to answer business calls unless they are old enough and you have trained them how to answer the phone properly. You want to ensure the meeting with your client is done in a quiet and peaceful environment without interruption.
6. Keep Your Pets Away
Not everybody loves and embraces pets. Some people are annoyed, afraid, or even allergic to certain pets. This point can help you have an excellent client meeting when keeping pets at home that are likely to enter your home office space.
Pets may move, jump, make noises, and create annoyance, leading to embarrassment or problems for your client. It is good home office practice not to let pets enter your meeting place. Eliminate your client’s risk of contracting an allergy to pet hair by regularly vacuuming and cleaning the space. It is important that your client feel safe and comfortable, resulting in a successful home office meeting.
7. Ensure your appearance is good.
In addition to your manners, your clothes and accessories can have a lot of impact on the success or failure of your meeting. Look your best by paying attention to your hair and clothes. Be tidy, smell good, and smile. Your dressing should make your clients comfortable and create a look that conveys trust and reliability. Play around with color and details as these say a lot about the person conducting the meeting and can become valuable even when closing a deal.
Additionally, ensure you start the meeting on time. When scheduling the meeting, it is also important to consider your client’s concentration level. Mornings are usually good for most people.
8. Have a good strategy
Before the meeting, it is important to write down the issues to be discussed and your objectives. This will make the meeting flow logically and later help you analyze if the meeting was successful. After the meeting, send the meeting minutes showing the issues discussed, commitments made by both parties, and deadlines for action. This will make your client feel deeply valued and more inclined to have future meetings with you.
9. Proper use of Cell phones
Adjust your phone to a mode that will not disrupt the meeting during the meeting. Avoid placing your phone on the table or checking it constantly, as it makes the client believe you are expecting a call. If you are expecting an important call, it is important to let the client know and when the call comes through, excuse yourself to answer it. It is good practice to avoid placing or holding your car keys as it sends out the message that you are in a hurry.
10. Keep Your Meetings Short
The longer the meeting, the harder it will be to keep up the energy and discussion. Having short meetings improves a team’s efficiency since the amount of information to be processed is not overwhelming. Do not schedule meetings that last longer than an hour. This shows consideration of your client’s time, and in turn, your client feels valued.
Your home activities and business issues can peacefully co-exist. However, it would help if you kept them separate such that one doesn’t interfere with the other; otherwise, you will lose your clients. When clients visit your home, it is your business and great service you want them to remember, not the mess in your home. These tips can be the ultimate game-changer with a positive impact on your career and business.
Which tip have you found to be a must-have for a successful home and office meeting with clients?