tHE ULTIMATE TIpS TO pREPARING fOR A SUCCESSFUL CLIENT VISIT:
Unveiling the Indian Wedding-inspired Guide to Creating Unforgettable Experiences!
Client visits can be a beautiful opportunity to strengthen and deepen business relationships, understand protocols and processes. But, are you making the best out of it? Here is a guide to organising a client visit right.
Sounds daunting? Not at all!
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It is just like organising a big fat Indian wedding! Both require handling complicated logistics, working with several stakeholders, and a fair amount of drama (where’s the fun without this, huh?)
The extent to which our personal and professional lives have become stitched together can be seen by the striking similarities between these two seemingly unrelated events. It’s up to us to figure out how to move through this ever-evolving landscape
#1 Welcome them big - Just like the baarat
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Show that you value the client’s relationship with certain nuances like a tasteful banner and a traditional ceremony to begin any relationship. Explain the nuances behind such a ceremony.
As the old adage goes, “It is all about the welcome!”
From greeting them appropriately, to showing them around your office, client visits must go through careful planning and preparation to ensure that they have a memorable experience – Just like bringing home your prospective alliance and in-laws for the first time! Showcase that your team has been looking forward to receiving them and has planned beautiful things to make their meeting memorable
- Plan your space: The environment you create for a client visit can make or break the experience. And what better way to create the ideal setting than by getting inspired from the way an Indian wedding destination is picked? For both occasions, to truly impress your guests, careful attention to detail and a little bit of flair will save the day. It is important to create a space that is welcoming, memorable, and indicative of your company’s unique style – even your meeting space needs to have a main character moment! For example: if your company is about organic sustainability, use products/ items that are organic in your meeting space décor, right from drinking straw to the pen & pad used.
- Send a detailed invitation – it’s not just a formality; it’s a chance to impress them with your professionalism and attention to detail. A client visit invitation should provide all the necessary information about the
– Location: better to have someone pick them up from the airport/station if it’s their first time in the city. You get a more extended time to talk out nitty gritties this way (Bonus!)
– Dress code: Don’t let your clients play guessing games about this! Are we talking black-tie, business casual, or Khadi shirts? Let them know what to wear so they can look their best and feel comfortable.
– Cultural traditions that they would be a part of: If your clients will be partaking in any customs or traditions during their visit, make sure they’re clued in so they can fully embrace the experience.
– Weather conditions: Nobody wants to be caught off guard by a sudden downpour or a heatwave. Let your clients know what to expect weather-wise, so they can pack appropriately and avoid any unexpected surprises
– Food and medical sensitivity: Show your clients some love by taking care of their food and medical needs. If they have any allergies that require certain medications, make sure you have that in the bag and make sure to have food that do not include those allergens or mention them in the food menu.
Nothing says “I care about your visit” more than that!
- Prepare the environment – You don’t want your clients to feel like they’re attending “yet another corporate event” – you want them to feel like they’re part of the team. So, don’t forget to plan for some snacks and refreshments that will make them shed a happy tear with a reminder from childhood! Take every opportunity to showcase your unique personality and values. Don’t be afraid to show off your favourite office decor and the team’s favourite meeting spots – after all, they’re not just there for the business, but for the experience too.
It is also important to make sure everyone from your team is ready to welcome your client with open arms and an upbeat mood – unlike those judgy relatives who would rather size you up from a distance and talk about what the “US-wali cousin” is wearing!
- Speak the same language – To ensure that you put your best foot forward, speak the same business language as your client. You don’t want to come across as too technical or too simplistic. Find a common ground where you can communicate with them effectively and seamlessly.
- Embody vision and mission – Illustrate to your clients, how you embody your values and how each choice you make supports your long-term objectives. This will not only make an impression on them but also aid in their understanding of the values and culture of your company.
- Showcase founder stories, presentations and perform tech checks – Make sure everyone from your team is on-board and prepared for the day! This will keep everyone focused from the start to finish and will avoid any last-minute hiccups (and awkwardness) and ensure a smooth visit
#2 Set and stick to an Agenda - Keep the focus on the Bride and Groom
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Put in key moments of humour or risky solutions that your team has come up with. It will help your clients understand your company's values and culture better.
Meeting with your clients is an opportunity to not only share your progress but also get them excited about being a part of our process. So let’s get cracking and pave the way for our clients to be a part of our journey to greatness (and love)!
- Relive the journey of your stakeholdership – You may start off the client meeting by revisiting the projects you and your client have worked on together and gain a better understanding of the evolution of your client relationship and the progress that you’ve made. You may also reflect on the challenges that you’ve faced and the innovative solutions that you’ve implemented, highlighting your problem-solving skills and the valuable contributions that you’ve made to your client’s business.
- Showcase the Longevity – Put up a timeline of the stakeholdership with your client to showcase how long you’ve been working together for. And never forget to thank the key members of your team who have made this client relationship a successful reality.
- Talk about impact – As you showcase the impact your product or service has had on the client and your business with them, you want to leave your clients with a lasting impression – just like how you want guests at a wedding to leave with happy memories. Make sure you ask your clients about the impact they’ve seen from implementing your product or process. Inspire your client using your experience as well. Let them know that you are thrilled to be a part of their project and that you believe it has the potential to have a significant impact on your surroundings and the world!
- Highlight the challenging parts of your Project – Talk about the kind of projects you have done together and even independently, the challenges you have faced, how you have overcome them and what you have learnt from.
#3 Organise a signature Activity! - Let loose like you would at a Sangeet
Arrange an interactive dance or music concert
An Indian wedding is definitely incomplete without a Sangeet ceremony! Your client’s visit must have an activity that breaks the ice and introduces your culture.
- Arrange for a fun team-building activity A team-building activity would be exponentially more fun if it showcases your company’s culture and values in a way that the client finds enjoyable.
To give you an example – arrange an interactive dance or music concert – Yakshagana is a traditional dance-drama art form that originated in Karnataka. It is known for its vibrant costumes, energetic music, and lively dance movements. By showcasing Yakshagana, you can introduce the clients to the unique aspects of your company’s culture and values, such as leadership, faithfulness to a mission, and creative problem-solving.
Kampany Katcheri is another engagement activity curated and intellectualised by Indian Shades, Get your client and the team, front row seats to experience the magic of Indian classical dance and music. It’s a surefire way to break the ice and create lasting memories that will have your employees talking about it for years to come.
This will leave a lasting impression on the clients – just like how that one introvert cousin’s dance moves are still a hot topic at family reunions! And the best part? Your clients will become your biggest fans – spreading the word about your unmatched company culture to anyone who’ll listen.
- Connect through Shared Experiences – You may hear elders reminiscing about their own childhood and the values they were brought up with. During a client visit, you can share your own experiences and the kind of value systems that have in place. Ask your clients about their families, their upbringing, and their career journey. You know that you will always find a common ground there!
#4 Schedule Right - Don't miss the Muhurtham
Imagine attending a wedding that has ceremonies scheduled back-to-back and one after the other! The bride and groom are running from one mandap to the next, without having the time to even change from one outfit to the next or sneaking a sip of water?
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Give them the freedom to also explore the new city, indulge in the local cuisine, and adjust their biological clock as needed.
- Balance the Business Talks and Leisure – Scheduling client visits requires a delicate balance of timing and consideration for the clients’ needs. You don’t want to overwhelm them with a jam-packed schedule!
- Prioritise your Clients’ Health and Happiness – It is also important to take their health and mood into consideration and give your clients the royal treatment they deserve – just like how you would treat your wedding guests like royalty! Always be prepared with the basic medicines at hand and give your clients their space & time to relax.
#5 Lasting impressions - Take the Thamboolam please
Parting ways with a client after their visit can be bittersweet. You want to leave a lasting impression and ensure that the memories of the visit remain fresh in their minds. That’s where a souvenir comes into play! And just like the Hoo’s and Haa’s expressed by the wedding guests while going through their souvenirs, your clients too should hold onto them and remember the wonderful experience they had with your team.
If your client values sustainability, eco-friendly products such as clay or bamboo utensils could be given as souvenirs.
- Choosing the right souvenir is key: It should be something that should represent the essence of your company. That does not entail a mug or a clicker pen that wears the company logo on it! A creative or custom-designed item would definitely stand out. You may also match the souvenir with something that defines the client’s business relationship with your company or their personal ideologies or interests.
- Keeping your Company at the top of their mind: A skillfully crafted souvenir can also be used as a discrete marketing tool for your business! The client will be reminded of your company’s name, core principles, and the interaction they had while visiting, each time they use the item. This may be a useful strategy for keeping your business top-of-mind and may result in further partnerships or referrals.
Hope by following these tips and adding your own flare to it, you’ll can make your client visits an epic and wonderful one. We at Indian Shades can help give your clients a memorable visit and an unforgettable experience, by engaging and enabling them through unique experiential Indian culture & art programs.