- For many new clients, your contact with them will probably be the very first time they have discussed their business idea at length with anyone. They may be understandably reticent. It is vitally important to establish a sympathetic and supportive relationship with them quickly. Many clients will be apprehensive and lack self-confidence.
- For most business advisers the first advisory session with a client will also generate anxiety. It is advisable, therefore, to allow your client to explain their feelings and ideas freely. This can be achieved by creating a partnership of mutual trust by listening carefully and patiently.
- You are attempting to create an atmosphere of friendliness and concern. Look upon every client as being the first of the day. If you appear to be tired and disinterested, it is very likely that your clients will behave similarly towards you. Think about this, next time you visit your GP!
- It is important that clients do the work themselves. Advisory sessions may show the way, but in the end it is the client who should do most of the work.
- You should carefully consider the image that you project. You will be advising people from a variety of backgrounds whose lifestyles and clothing may be very different from your own, and they may feel intimidated if they are faced with a business adviser who is very formally dressed and looks like a bank manager or an accountant. So it might not be a bad idea to soften your image.
Do recognise, however, that it is possible to look too informal, and that ragged jeans will not convey the impression that you are either professional or knowledgeable.