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Best Practices when Meeting with Clients (TRN1-J20)


This job aid lists what to do and what not to do when meeting with clients, whether regularly or for the first time.

Published: February 15, 2016
Type: Job aid

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Best Practices when Meeting with Clients


  • Prepare for the meeting: familiarize yourself with the program or policy and get to know the history of the account.
  • Discuss with your colleagues or manager before meeting the client.
  • Behave in a professional manner; be courteous and listen to what the client has to say.
  • Give realistic deadlines—negotiate.
  • Ask questions:
    • What is the program objective?
    • How does it align with the ADM, departmental and GOC priorities?
    • What audience are you trying to reach?
    • Where are we in the decision-making process?
    • Positives? Negatives?
    • Challenges? Timing?

As a communications professional, you will be called upon to play a "challenge function." This role can be summarized as:

  • Critical to the credibility of the communication product
  • Difficult for many
  • Requiring confidence and expertise
  • Requiring substantive knowledge
  • Requiring professionalism and objectivity


  • Start the conversation with "No" or "It can't be done."
  • Jump to conclusions. Give yourself time to think, even if that means saying you want time to consult with your branch.
  • Just give clients what they say they want. Ask questions to find out what the client really needs. Remember, you are the communications professional and you are there to give advice.
  • Accept arbitrary deadlines—negotiate.
  • Over commit.

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