How to deal with nervousness while meeting new client


While meeting new clients I feel bit nervous, what should I do to overcome the nervousness and being confident.

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asked Sep 14 '11 at 01:04
Darshan Joshi
154 points
  • If you're a little nervous at the start and it goes away after you begin; it's a sign that you care (kinda like initial stage fright). – Jberger 13 years ago
  • Very true nervousness is for initial 1 or 2 minutes, but when I start explaining it lost over... but how be confident in front of client from the start? – Darshan Joshi 13 years ago
  • Are you naturally an introvert? If so, learn to be more extro. (This takes behavior modification and cannot be taught via reading.) – Jberger 13 years ago

6 Answers


I will try to approach the problem from the standpoint of Transactional Analysis.

This type of nervousness is usually related to the fear of rejection. In this particular case, you are most probably worried that the client might reject you as a competent equal to himself in solving the business problem the meeting is for.

All emotions come from the child in us. During a meeting you need to bring out the Adult in you who represents the logical, sensible problem solver in you. This is easier if you do some fact checking with the real world while you go into a meeting.

Here are some facts that might help to bring out the Adult in you:

There are six ways of structuring time depending on the intimacy level of the time being spent with others. A business meeting falls under the fourth category, called Work. During Work, people focus on accomplishing a certain goal, together. That is all they care about. They are not there to judge you, criticize you or punish you.

On the contrary, the clients will show up on time, willing and eager to give you an hour of their life and listen to what you have to offer. Oh my God, they will even take you seriously! Do you know why? Because they will view you as someone who may help them. If it is a good fit, cool. You can move to the next step in the sales funnel. If it is not, it is not the end of the world. You try to learn from the experience as much as possible. Ask questions, figure out what went wrong and improve yourself, your pitch or your product.

After all, this is the Adult thing to do.

answered Sep 15 '11 at 23:17
81 points


The sentence I keep in my head and that has served me well over many years is this:

Selling isn't telling: selling is asking questions If someone has taken the risk of letting me through the door, repaying that act of trust on their part means not making assumptions, but taking a genuine interest in their business and the issues they have. Being interested in someone makes you interesting to them - and that's half the battle in overcoming nervousness and anxiety.

That way you also get to watch and listen more - you can give the person your attention and notice how they sit, how they speak, what seems to matter to them, what they're proud of.

So only tell people what's relevant. And when they do ask you to tell them what you've got and how it could help them:

  1. If that moment comes too early in the conversation, you should hold back. You need to tell them what's relevant to them - and you shouldn't guess. So be polite, be respectful, and bridge. For instance, "Our service is all about improving the way companies monitor and manage their systems. And to see where that might fit in for you, could I just ask you, ..."

    1. If you do have enough to explain how what you have might help them, don't go into autopilot. It's so tempting to tell the full story. And it's even more tempting to highlight that killer feature that you know will impress, even if it doesn't correspond to an evident need.

Most of us aren't natural salespeople. And, to tell the truth, most people you think of as 'natural salespeople' come across to many of the people they meet as insincere. So don't fall for the other trap - starting to think about how badly you're doing, when you should be 100% in the meeting.

There's no substitute for practising. And the good news is, practising with friends and co-workers is very nearly as good as the real thing.

So don't be afraid to be yourself. Don't worry about how you ought to come across. Focus on the person you're meeting, take a genuine interest, don't waste their time and be creative and specific when you start to see the opportunities to be of service to them.

Good luck - you'll get there!

answered Sep 15 '11 at 23:57
Jeremy Parsons
5,197 points


Role play with your colleagues. That's the best way to get past the nerves.

Find colleagues that can act and hopefully look just like the clients you will meet.

Also, always do a "dry-run" of what you will say ahead of time as well. Don't ever just make stuff up as you go.

answered Sep 14 '11 at 02:24
Jarie Bolander
11,421 points
  • Nice, it would be a great practice to gain confidence as well past the nerves – Darshan Joshi 13 years ago


As everyone said it's a good sign of concern about a business but don't forget it also have bits of excitement included in it. Because every new things comes with excitement and surprises so try to find out the excitement as it'll give you joy to work with the client and do look forward for good surprises this will takeaway your mind off from the nervousness.

answered Sep 14 '11 at 02:26
Safran Ali
272 points


I've been meeting new clients for over 20 years and the first few minutes still make me nervous unless I somehow develop an instant liking towards the client.

What helps is:

Switch your tactics so you can Project Confidence! Most of the initial nervousness is there because you WANT to close the deal and you aren't sure if you can sell it well enough.

What you need to do is change your mindset from one of selling to one of serving. From one of "hey, you need to buy this because....." to "I'm here to help and I CAN help because I know my * * when it comes to these products and how they work to enhance your business".

Once you can do that, you will find that the initial awkwardness goes down from 5 mins to maybe 30 secs.

The second thing you can do is SLOW DOWN.

I find it helps if I beat around the bush a little at the start to break the ice. Something that's not directly related to my visit.

See if you can pick up signs from their office of things that you can relate to. Golf balls, Yankee caps, pictures, etc. I often start by saying "Nice golf set there", etc, etc and use those topics to break the ice.

answered Sep 14 '11 at 02:38
296 points


The easiest thing you can do, is just become friends with them first. As long as they aren't in a rush, just reflect their attitude 100%, and make things light-hearted. Get them to like you and trust you FIRST as a person, and then whatever your selling, won't feel like selling at all, to either party. It also REALLY helps to project the idea that the product/service you are offering is so good, that you don't have to sell it. You have plenty of clients. One sale won't make or break you. If you act too desperate and nervous, it makes them wonder. Just remember to do whatever you can to keep the mood light in the meeting, and be who they want you to be.

answered Sep 14 '11 at 04:31
182 points

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