In the world of local business, client meetings are a critical component of success. Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, mastering the art of client meetings can make a significant impact on your business growth.

From building strong relationships to closing deals, these meetings play a vital role in fostering trust and understanding between you and your clients.

In this article, we will explore eight essential steps to help you master client meetings and achieve success in your local business.

By implementing these strategies, you can ensure that each meeting is productive, efficient, and ultimately leads to positive outcomes for both you and your clients. From preparation and organization to communication and follow-up, these steps will guide you through the process of creating successful client meetings that set you apart from your competition.

Whether you are meeting with potential clients, current customers, or partners, mastering client meetings is key to building lasting relationships and driving business growth. So, let’s dive in and discover the essential steps to elevate your marketing efforts, client meetings and take your local business to the next level.

It is Important to Differentiate

Meetings are often viewed negatively, however, it is important to differentiate between work meetings that may hinder productivity and client appointments which are essential for building strong relationships and achieving mutual success.

Client meetings present a valuable opportunity to gain insights into the businesses you are assisting and demonstrate your commitment to their success. They are a crucial aspect of your professional development, providing hands-on experience that can propel your career to new heights.

Having conducted numerous client meetings over the span of my career, I am pleased to share with you a key tip, a beneficial exercise, and a practical checklist to help you optimize these appointments and ensure they are both productive and enjoyable for all parties involved.

My #1 tip for the best client meetings: factor in time and money

It is imperative for both individual consultants and employees of SEO/marketing firms to carefully consider and account for all client meetings within their regular work schedule and fee structure. It is unreasonable to expect consultants to provide their expertise for free or outside of regular working hours.

Consultations and the preparation for them should be recognized as essential, billable activities rather than optional or complimentary services.

In order to effectively serve a diverse range of local business clients, it is crucial to schedule and bill for the time required for client meetings. While it is beneficial to maintain an open-door policy for clients seeking additional support, it is important to establish boundaries to prevent clients from expecting free advice at all hours.

While rare emergencies may necessitate working outside of normal hours or waiving fees, it is essential to prioritize paid consulting time on your calendar.

Failure to establish and adhere to these guidelines can lead to feelings of exploitation and resentment among consultants, ultimately hindering the success of both the organization and the client. It is essential to maintain a professional approach to client consultations in order to ensure a productive and mutually beneficial relationship.

My #1 exercise for getting into a great frame of mind for a fantastic local business meeting

Regardless of the size of your agency, client retention remains a crucial objective. While it may not be possible for the customer satisfaction or to satisfy every customer indefinitely, fostering strong relationships with those you serve can help reduce churn and minimize losses.

Building meaningful connections with clients is rooted in empathy. As you prepare for your next meeting, I urge you to approach it with the mindset of being a dedicated advocate for the client. While you may be working for yourself or another entity, your focus during the meeting should be on providing a memorable and supportive experience for the client.

One effective way to adopt this perspective is through the following exercise:

Think of clients as your loved ones

Careful attention should be paid to the concerns, complaints, and needs of your clients. It is essential to approach each situation with a sense of empathy and understanding in order to effectively address any issues that may arise. By prioritizing the well-being of those you serve, you will be better equipped to navigate challenges and provide solutions with dedication and expertise.

Building strong relationships with clients will allow you to offer personalized support and effectively meet their needs. It is through this level of commitment and proficiency that you can truly make a positive impact in your professional endeavors.

Detailed key to the checklist:

1. Check expectations

Lack of preparation from either party can hinder the momentum of a meeting, leading to delays and inefficiencies. To avoid such setbacks, it is advisable to ensure thorough preparation beforehand. A gentle reminder sent via text or email the day before the meeting, confirming the scheduled time, technical requirements, meeting location, and expected deliverables from both parties, can help streamline the meeting process and ensure a productive outcome.

Greetings Jean,

I am eager to connect with you during our scheduled Zoom meeting at 3 pm on Tuesday, as per your time zone. I am prepared to present the mockup of the Corte Madera landing page, and I am excited to review the staff photos that you will be sharing with me. Please find the meeting link enclosed below.

I anticipate our productive discussion tomorrow.

Warm regards,


2. Check goals

It is essential to establish a clear purpose for any meeting to avoid confusion and ensure productivity. Take the necessary steps to confirm that all deliverables are prepared to address the core objectives of the meeting.

Regularly assess the overarching business goals outlined in the client contract to guarantee that the work being conducted aligns with the broader strategic vision.

For instance, if the primary focus identified by the client was to increase bookings, evaluate whether the critical tasks or current tasks contribute to this objective. If the current project involves enhancing the booking landing page, then it is in alignment with the client’s goal.

However, if unexpected potential issues arise, such as a reputation management crisis, it is crucial to inform the client that addressing these urgent matters may impact timelines or require additional resources.

Maintain open communication regarding goals to prevent projects from veering off track or becoming overlooked until discrepancies arise. Stay proactive in addressing any deviations from the initial plan to ensure successful outcomes for the client.

3. Check tools

It is common practice for consultants to provide routine reporting to their clients; however, search engine results pages (SERPs) are constantly changing. It is advisable to review your preferred analytical tools the day before a client meeting to ensure you are up to date with any recent developments. If there are any new or significant changes since the last formal report, consider taking screenshots for reference and exporting any data that may warrant further analysis. By doing so, you can ensure that your client meetings are based on the most current information available, rather than outdated data from weeks prior.

4. Check SERPs

Utilizing SEO tools can streamline processes and improve organization within a digital marketing strategy. However, it is imperative to conduct manual spot-checks on select key Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) to ensure accuracy and quality control.

These manual checks offer a sense of reassurance, as tools may occasionally lag behind or provide inaccurate information.

Additionally, staying vigilant for new SERP features or noteworthy updates can unveil fresh opportunities for client optimization. Presenting these findings at the next scheduled meeting can demonstrate proactive and strategic thinking to enhance the client’s overall digital presence.

5. Check recent reviews

It is a well-known fact among proficient local SEO specialists that online reviews serve as a valuable indicator of a client’s performance in the physical world. Analyze the reviews accumulated since your last interaction, taking note of the frequency of reviews and the overall sentiment expressed.

Address any areas of concern promptly, offering solutions where necessary. It is equally important to acknowledge and commend the client for any outstanding reviews received, as they reflect significant accomplishments in their offline endeavors.

6. Check local SEO news

Please consult your records for the date of your most recent meeting with the client and make note of any significant local search news that has transpired in the interim period. These developments may have had an impact on the client and should be taken into consideration. It is advisable to refer to reputable local search news sources for timely and thorough reporting on noteworthy events:

  • Search Engine Roundtable, led by Barry Schwartz, is highly regarded for its up-to-the-minute coverage of local search news.
  • Near Media is an excellent source for expert analysis of local search trends and developments.
  • Sterling Sky’s Local Search Forum often offers early insights into emerging issues encountered by consultants and business owners in their daily activities.
  • The Quarterly Local SEO Roundup by Moz provides a comprehensive overview of major local search updates each quarter, offering valuable insights into recent developments since your last client meeting.

It is advantageous when a client introduces a new issue during a meeting, and you are able to promptly establish a connection to a recent event due to your consistent monitoring of current affairs. This demonstrates your preparedness and enhances your credibility in the eyes of the prospective clients.

7. Check local market/industry news

To elevate your consulting skills to the next level, it is essential to thoroughly research your clients before meeting with them. By examining the local newspaper of their town or city and delving into industry news sources, you can bring valuable insights and opportunities to the table.

Identifying potential sponsorships, awards, new loyal customer segments, B2B partnerships, event participation, and other avenues for growth can greatly enhance the success of your client meetings. For instance, recognizing trends such as local business closures can reveal opportunities for your client to fill a void in the market, while new business openings present the chance to initiate profitable cross-selling collaborations.

Small and medium-sized business clients often overlook these opportunities due to their busy schedules, making your expertise in identifying growth potential in their target market and industry invaluable.

8. Check your personal file on the client

Maintaining client relationships requires a keen attention to detail and a genuine interest in their personal lives. It is essential to remember significant events and milestones shared by clients during meetings, as this demonstrates respect and consideration for their well-being.

Engaging in informal conversations during consultations can uncover valuable insights about clients’ passions, aspirations, and achievements, leading to innovative approaches and successful collaborations.

In an era where technology is increasingly replacing human interaction, it is crucial to prioritize genuine connections and empathy in business interactions. While automation can streamline certain tasks, the human touch of caring about clients’ needs and goals is irreplaceable.

By staying attuned to both the professional and personal aspects of client relationships, consultants can deliver superior solutions and foster long-lasting partnerships based on trust and mutual success.

Embracing a relational approach to business, rather than purely transactional, cultivates meaningful connections and fosters a culture of empathy and understanding. By demonstrating genuine care and interest in clients’ lives and goals, consultants can build strong, enduring relationships that go beyond business transactions.

Through thoughtful preparation and genuine engagement, consultations can become opportunities for growth, learning, and authentic connections in the professional realm.

In Conclusion

Mastering client meetings is a vital component of achieving success in local business endeavors. By adhering to the essential steps highlighted in this blog post, businesses can establish strong relationships with clients, understand their needs effectively, and showcase their expertise in a professional manner.

The ability to conduct productive client meetings not only fosters trust or building trust and credibility but also lays the foundation for long-term partnerships and business growth. Remember, preparation, active listening, clarity of communication, and a customer-centric approach are key elements that contribute to successful client interactions.

By consistently implementing these strategies, local businesses can enhance their reputation, drive positive outcomes, and ultimately thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

If you want to stay updated with a wide range of Local SEO trends, actionable insights, and innovative solutions, please subscribe to our blog.

Moreover, if you looking for a Local SEO and Marketing Company to help you rank locally, we at Brian Zenarosa Digital can help you out. Book a discovery call today.