It’s been three weeks ever since I got the new job and acquired yet another position apart from being a SEM consultant. The boss made me the account manager for our pioneer client. It’s so funny that they’re blindly trusting me to handle their first ever client here in Manila. I mean, what where they thinking?
I can play the role of the SEO/SEM point person, the one who’s always behind the scenes. I kinda liked it that way coz I’m used to being the “little main man” behind the shadows. At least the pressure is disguised. But being account manager (and kissing client’s ass) isn’t exactly part of the wish list.
You can just imagine the bloopers I’ve committed the very first day I was introduced to them. From etiquette-laden exchange of pleasantries, to power house power point presentations, etc – everything was as awkward as it can be to me.
So I think it is useful to give some tips on how to conduct oneself during client meetings and presentations. I’ll also make kwento about the silly bloopers I made along the “account management” learning curve. Hehe.
Tip# 1: Initiate. Be the first one to greet and to extend your hand for a handshake during introductions. Refrain from making this step look awkward, ok?
Romela’s Blooper: I think I just made a quick hi and was too hesitant to extend my shaking (or trembling) hand when I got introduced to the client. Hay!
Tip #2: Sit across the client. When entering the conference room, it is ideal to sit across the client. It makes it easy for you to establish eye contact, and you’ll be able to manage voice volume so that all can hear you. If you sit beside the client you won’t speaking as loud as it is needed. Katabi mo na kase sya eh.
Romela’s Blooper: Of course, feeling close, tinabihan ko si client! Haha! Good thing, my officemate was kind enough to direct me to sit on their side, across the client.
Tip #3: Don’t put anything on the conference table except of course your laptop, pen and notebook. The purse or bag should be placed on your chair or on the floor.
Romela’s Blooper: Yup, you guessed it right! I proudly placed my big “Baclaran-bought” white bag on top of the table! Luckily my officemate, once again whispered the instruction to discretely put that big white thing on the floor. Hehe.
Tip #4: The 3 E’s: Eye contact, Explain, Empathize. In doing presentations, keep in mind that you’re not just talking to yourself. Pause to explain and establish eye contact with your audience. Empathize with them so as not to give the impression that you’re not aware of their needs.
Romela’s Blooper: I always get that sense of urgency when presenting. I always wish to end it right away. You know, that “let’s get this over and done with” attitude.
Tip#5: Nurture the relationship. I hate to give this tip coz I myself is not a doer of this. If it takes a lunch out with the client, a badminton match, then so be it (really huh, rom?). There has to be some good connection between you and the client. Of course it’s fake friendship in the beginning, but who knows you may not just be winning that hundred dollar deal, but genuine friendship later on.
Romela’s way: I’m not sure if you call this a blooper or what, but I’m not going to that badminton match. Why? Number one, my playing raket is with Joni, and number two, that’s 7 in the morning – I’d rather sleep than kiss ass. Hehehe!