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26 Oct 2011 How to present your business to a potential client

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Getting your business off the ground can be hard, so when you find a potential client who is interested in your products or services, you need to ensure you present your business the best way possible. Here are five ways to achieve that.

1. Organisation

This is the most important step of all. Your potential client isn't going to be happy waiting around while you fumble around for the right documents or information. There's no right or wrong way to be organised, so do what works for you. That could be Powerpoint presentations, palm cards, printed flyers or an oral presentation.

2. Practice

Practice makes perfect. You have to know what you're going to say before you even meet the client, so practice out loud, in front of a mirror, and if necessary in front of an audience such as friends or family. You might feel a bit silly doing it but it can make a huge difference in the end, so it's definitely worthwhile.

3. Research

Know your client. Find out everything you can about them so that your proposal has been targeted to their needs. They need to be able to see not just what you're putting on the table, but the benefit to them. If you don't understand their business, industry and history, you can't possibly understand what would benefit them most. Not only does it help with illustrating your value, but it helps you explain the reasoning behind your decisions. They'll appreciate and respect your commitment to the job, which can go a long way towards sealing the deal.

4. Be ready for questions

It's almost certain that the potential client will have some questions or concerns about your proposal. Play devil's advocate with yourself or a friend/co-worker and brainstorm all of the possible objections the client may have. These may include cost, a lack of need, other options/providers and so on. Include these and everything else you can come up with. If you have an answer for every negative that comes up, the client will see that you're the right choice.

5. Confidence

If you really believe you're the best for reasons X, Y and Z, you need to show that to the client as well. It's not just about visual confidence, but also about your value proposition, being able to handle the job, deliver on deadline and within budget, and so on. Be professional and self-assured, communicate clearly and remember that your main objective is to convey your strengths in the best way possible.

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