Picture this: You’ve got a fantastic client closed. You’re psyched to get started and hand the project off to the account manager.
So, everyone can just jump right in and start cracking on those deliverables, right?
What exactly did sales promise to the client? How can your team deliver on those promises if you just jump right in? Do that, and you’re missing a crucial step in the delivery process.
Finding clients is tough. Retaining clients? Easy to mess up. So, what to do?
The answer lies in a client kick-off meeting.
A client kickoff meeting agenda clears the air between sales, the account manager, and the team assigned to the project.
Promises delivered and happy clients. Let’s get the scoop below.
What’s a Client Kickoff Meeting?
A kickoff meeting is the first official meeting between the client and the project team. Consider it as a date where you want to know as much as you can about the other person (here, the client).
Apart from defining the whats and whys, it also explains the hows, giving the project a clear direction.
Why do you need a client kick-off meeting agenda anyway?
Kickoff isn’t just a step to take before project completion. It defines the project and gives it a direction that’s often missing (even after a client is acquired).
The right setting and attitude play a crucial role in holding this meeting successfully.
So, besides a comfortable environment, choose a confident mindset too. And, let the project roll with a bang.
Kicking it off with the right agenda
While every project is different, it pays off to have a well-defined structure before starting a project.
Here’s the client kick-off framework I swear by:
Step #1. Meet and Greet
Greet the client with all the courtesy you have in the world.
Remember, the first impression is the . . . yeah, you know that already. So, begin the meeting by congratulating all and thanking them for their time to be present there.
A simple thank-you can be a fantastic ice-breaker and conversation-starter. Use it well.
Step #2. Review the Onboarding Form Responses
Take a moment to revisit the client onboarding form and recount the project background. It’ll help in getting a better understanding of not just the objectives, but the project pain-points too.
Step #3. Service and Scope
Rallying for scope consensus is the cornerstone of a successful kickoff.
Inform the client about how your business and service works and agree upon the project scope.
Go through the timelines, estimates, statements of work, etc.
Step #4. Team Introductions and Role-defining
Introduce who’s who on each team and map roles to assign deliverables.
Step #5. Questions and Answers
Next, let the client ask you questions about a particular process or raise concerns they want you to troubleshoot within a platform. Discuss and clear misunderstandings. Leave nothing to imagination or guesswork.
Step #6. Keep Things Moving
Share sales tips or any other relevant info that’ll keep up the meeting’s momentum and fill those awkward silences.
Step #7. Collaboration and Communication
Fix a collaboration process with no loopholes in the communication and reporting framework. Strongly consider using cloud-based tools to make your life easier and collaboration smoother.
Step #8. Next Steps
Come up with a project mission statement, if possible. Ensure that each attendee knows what comes next and what’s expected of them to drive the project to fruition. Set-up full project clarity before impatience takes over the meeting.
And yes, it means you can and should ask that intern to sit back, until everyone’s on the same page.
No leaving the room without a clear-cut action plan.
If you want to avoid failing to deliver on promises, and bridge the gap between sales and the project team, then schedule a client kickoff meeting.
It’ll give your account manager and team members the clear-cut action plan they need to deliver. And your clients will thank you.
- Schedule a meet-and-greet and thank everyone involved.
- Review and discuss the client onboarding form responses.
- Define and align the service and scope with what sales promised.
- Introduce the team and define everyone’s roles and responsibilities.
- Collaborate, communicate, and get started on next steps.
Are you ready to execute your projects like a pro and scale up your business like never before? Check this case study on how a divorced single mom of two turned her side project into a growing business.