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Five conversation killers to avoid when meeting clients

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You’ve finally secured a meeting with that top client you’ve been chasing for weeks. You research the company and prepare well. Small talk out of the way. It’s all going well. Oops, did you just say that? Next thing you know you’re staring at blank faces. If you’ve ever found yourself in an awkward meeting, we feel your pain. But not to worry, the team at Cobalt is on hand to help you rid those conversation killers for good.


Nothing turns a client off more than negativity. When you’re at a meeting, never attach any negative words or descriptions to your client’s brand, company name or product. Ever. Clients want enthusiastic, can-do people with a positive outlook. Always ask inspiring and open-ending questions, such as “What are your most important initiatives for this year?” Also, if the client makes an objection, refrain from working up a sweat and let the client explain their reasons for objecting. It’s simple: stay positive.


The most skilled speakers avoid one of the biggest conversation killers of all: interrupting. If you imagine conversation as a dance, interrupting is like stepping on your partner’s foot. It ruins the flow, kills the mood and is incredibly hard to recover from. Even if you know what the client is going to say, bite your tongue and wait until they’re done talking.

Avoid being arrogant

In a client meeting, your goal is to gain trust and convince them to hire you. To succeed, you need to be cautious of your tone when getting your message across. You should exude confidence in a sales pitch, but you need to concentrate on the facts. Evidence wins client over, not opinions. Arrogance is a massive turn off for prospective clients and can create tension in a meeting.

Trying to wing it

Prospective clients don’t want their time wasted. You need to prepare in advance otherwise your sales presentation will be all over the place. Trying to wing a sales pitch in a meeting is a fast-track to making your client feel dissatisfied. Even if you’re fully prepared, you can still come unstuck. For example, a client might ask you a question that you don’t know the answer to. It’s better to say, “I’ll get back to you”, instead of responding with a lie. The client may see through your lies and feel insulted, or it could come back to haunt you later.

Pricing on the spot

Never mention costs until the client asks you. Even if you know the rate you want, remember that you need to show the client how much you're worth, not tell them. Your job is to articulate the quality of your service and to demonstrate the value you can bring to the client’s company. When asked about the price, you should give an actual price quote, instead of a range. But first, establish what services the client needs help with and accelerate the close.

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