It might be those first few moments after you get back to your car following an important presentation. It could be while you’re riding to the airport after a critical needs analysis. Perhaps it is those minutes that immediately follow a conference call or an online meeting where a big renewal was discussed.
Yes, every client-facing meeting is critical, whether it happens online, on the phone, or face-to-face. The time you spend with any target or key account is likely to impact your top line revenue, and therefore, your income. But those minutes are mostly important to a specific sale or client relationship. Reflecting on how the meeting went—the first five minutes after you’ve met with a target or key account—are important to your career. Because you’re using this experience to get better, build on success, and note mistakes so you can avoid them in the future. Bottom line: You’re improving the very next meeting or client interaction you have.
Perhaps you’ll realize an important behavior that helped you change the demeanor of the client in a positive way and moved the process forward. If it didn’t go as well as you’d hoped, perhaps you can use this time to figure out why… and avoid the practices that led to that disappointment.
Be Your Own Best Critic
Because I am my own worst critic—I’m harder on myself than any manager could be—I am also my own best critic. But, only if I reserve a few moments for myself after any client interaction to objectively reflect on what I did that brought me closer to success with this customer. Yes, I’ll probably discover some things where, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t. But that’s okay, because I will have it to do over again; perhaps next week or next month… or maybe in my very next client meeting.
Don't Tear Yourself Down ... Build Yourself Up
Experience is the best teacher. But it’s up to you to be a good student, too. That doesn’t mean beating yourself up (that would be counter-productive). It’s about building yourself up, as you reflect on what went right, what could be improved, and what parts of your training you’ve actually learned to apply.
So remember: Every time you give the client an hour, you deserve to give yourself at least five minutes. They could be some of the most important minutes of your career.