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Tips for your First Client Meeting

Author: WC.Bear
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Tips For Meeting New Clients – How to conduct a successful first-time meeting with a potential client.

This is especially important for freelance web designers to consider before they take on a project.  This is your chance to figure out whether the project will be a good fit for you or not.  There are several questions that must be asked and issues that must be discussed in this important first meeting. Let’s talk about a few tips for meeting new clients.

Let’s start with the main objectives of the first meeting with a potential client.

  1. First and foremost to see if you and your client will be able to work well together, in other words will the project be a ‘good fit’ for you.
  2. To determine how much work it will be hence how much time it will take so you can give an accurate quote and an accurate completion date.
  3. To convince the client that they should hire you!  You need to make a good first impression.
  4. So lets firstly address number 1.


This is very personal and not something you can write a checklist for, it’s more about a gut feeling you will get after you have your first meeting with the client about their expectations and the type of project it is.  You need to decide to the best of your ability whether you will be able to work together successfully and whether their project is one that you will be able to handle. It is not in either of your best interests to take on a project if you feel you are either not qualified or not willing to take it on and handle it successfully.  Look for those red flags and follow your gut instincts, they are usually right.

Tips for meeting new clients: It’s not all about personalities and whether you think can work with the client, but also check that you have the right skills and also the time to do it. You also need to find out what the Client’s desired completion date is and what the budget is – very important. So there will be times where you just have to say no. Your time is precious. Here’s a presentation video from a web designer that illustrates how important it is to just say no.


To determine how much time a website will take to build, you have to consider a number of elements at play. You need to have a very good idea of how many pages you will be working on and how difficult those pages will be.  How difficult they will be depends on a number of factors such as content volume and the type of content such as video, images, and text.  Do they want special functionality such as: filtering systems; interactive scrolling; images on a slider; e-commerce; a database; or user interaction such as sign ups and memberships?

All this information is important in establishing an accurate quote on your time.



  • Website type, what do they want it to achieve? What’s its purpose?
  • Who is your target customer and what do they want? Do you have data to support that?
  • Site map and page map, how many pages and sub categories?
  • Do they have a style or theme they like? Sites they like or don’t like and why.
  • How much content? Do they have all the content? Very important to ask this.
  • Does the client have branding or logos, if not do they want you to work on that?
  • Do they want links to social media?
  • Do they want e-commerce? If so do they want you to source a third party to manage that?
  • If selling products, how many different types?
  • Do they want multilingual?
  • Do they have or need professional photos?
  • Do they need help with graphic design?
  • Do they want to prioritize mobile experience?
  • Any special functionality?


tips for meeting new clients


Recently a friend about to launch into her career as a free-lance web design asked this question “Where should we meet for our first client meeting”.  If you don’t have your own office space don’t worry, where to meet when you’re a freelancer has gotten a lot easier with the new concept of co-working spaces. Here are a couple of examples in Bangkok Hubba or Launchpad of these spaces.  You can book these just for a day and can book private meeting rooms for small fee. Try not to meet at your clients place of work as that can mean a lot of travel for you.  It’s better to meet more locally at coffee shop or at co-working space.

Tips for meeting new clients: Here’s an awesome video demonstrating some do’s and don’ts especially if your first meeting has to be over the phone.


Before the meeting make sure you are well prepared and have all the details you need.  It’s a good idea to practice your pitch on a friend or spouse before the big day.  A nice touch would be to send an email or make a quick call to say how much you are looking forward to meeting them.  Dress to impress.  Dress smartly to show you are a professional. Bring your laptop in case your client is interested to see your portfolio.  But don’t hide behind it, show the work and then put it aside to give your client undivided attention.


Tips for meeting new clients: It goes without saying that it’s important to make a good first impression. So be friendly, polite and professional and most importantly be yourself – your polite self.  Take a little time for some small talk before you launch into the nitty gritty of the meeting.  Smile a lot. Be confident (yes sit up straight and put those shoulders back, you’ll feel a million dollars) and act like you’ve done it a million times before.  Keep a non-threatening and relaxed posture. Use a firm handshake and keep good eye contact. Use phrases such as  “It’s a pleasure to meet you” “How’s your morning/afternoon been?”


Use their first name throughout the meeting, it adds a personal touch and helps you to remember their name!   Here are some helpful conversation starters “Tell me about..,”  “Walk me through… “In your business what are you most proud of?”
Try to gauge how tech savvy they are and use language accordingly.  Don’t use too much jargon. Try to strike a balance between being all ears and asking questions.  You want to come across as an active listener but also a critical thinker with your own wealth of ideas.  And do point out when you’ve done something similar before to show your experience.  Honesty is the best policy.  Be upfront if you have not done something that they are asking for.  But state you can bring someone in you know to help with it or alternatively state you yourself could do it given a bit more time.  In most cases you will gain credit for being honest about your capabilities. And don’t forget to thank them for their time.



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