The first assignment Part 4: Preparation for the initial interview

You did it. There is a first prospect for your service. The first meeting has been arranged to clarify further details of the order. Now the first meeting must go perfectly. In this article I would like to give you some practical tips to prepare for your first meeting.

Which guy is your client?

Every person is different. This also applies to customers. Try to find out what is really important to your customer before the first meeting. Is your customer very risk-averse or open to innovative concepts? Is it purely about profitability or does your customer also invest in a better image?

There are basically four different types:

The analyst acts very rationally and conscientiously. Analysts pay attention to factual arguments and love details, Excel sheets and charts. Bring a document to your first meeting in which every little detail of your proposal is clarified.

The pragmatist is acting with great determination. Even pragmatists love written offers but do not want to delve deeply into the subject. Effort and result must be in a reasonable ratio. Document the most important points of your offer briefly and concisely.

The harmonist is a very emotionally oriented journeyman and therefore places great value on interpersonal relationships. You can score points with him if you give him generous time for decisions. Give him time, be available.

The extrovert prefers services that enhance his or her reputation and self-esteem. For him, pictures, colours and references of renowned clients work better than bare figures and diagrams. Communicate how his reputation can increase through your service.

Try to find out in advance to which group your customer belongs to in order to adjust your sales arguments accordingly.

How does your client feel? 

Customers often make emotional decisions. Therefore it is important to know the real wishes and needs of your customer. With the empathy card developed by XPLANE you have an excellent tool to put yourself in the position of your customer.

Find out what surrounds your customer, who his advisors are and what they might say to your customer.


Depending on the size of the assignment and your chances, you should put the preparation for the interview into a healthy balance of effort. In everyday life it is not worthwhile to spend days analysing if the order volume is only 500 EUR at the end. Especially when starting out as a freelancer, it can make sense for practice purposes to prepare yourself thoroughly for the upcoming interview.

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