Meet and greet with a client: what you need to know

Two women drinking coffee and chatting.

As an independent support worker on Mable, you are an independent contractor, and therefore, you have the flexibility to build your small business the way you choose. This means, you have the freedom to book the clients you want to work with, set your own rates, and work the hours you want. These are just some of the benefits of being an independent support worker on Mable.

When you start out as an independent support worker on Mable, it’s important to be really clear about your intentions and set the right expectations about the work when you meet potential clients. That’s why a meet and greet session is so helpful.

Why a meet and greet is important

Many independent support workers on Mable offer a ‘meet and greet’. While these meetings are often an informal chat over a cup of coffee or a virtual session, they’re also a crucial opportunity to:

  • Set out your expectations for how you would like to work with the client
  • Understand if you are a right fit for each other
  • Ask each other questions about the support required and the current support situation.

Essentially, it is an interview process for both you and your client, and both parties need to make sure they are comfortable with the arrangements of the job before you proceed. Here are some tips to help you prepare for this meeting, as well as common questions that can crop up during a meet and greet.

Before you decide whether you and your client are a good ‘fit’, it’s important to be really clear and specific about your understanding of the work that will be undertaken and make sure your client is on the same page.

Safety during a meet and greet

When working independently, you are responsible for your own safety. Here are some steps you might take to remain safe during your first meeting with a client:

  • Before the face-to-face interview, have a chat on the phone with your potential client, if possible. This will give you the opportunity to ask important questions you might have, and will also give you a chance to gauge if you feel comfortable with each other.
  • If you decide to meet face to face, we suggest meeting in a public space for the first interview.
  • Before meeting a client for the first time, ensure you include the date, time and location you plan to meet in the Mable messaging system so we have a record of this.

If you are ever made to feel uncomfortable when speaking with or working with a client, please let us know straight away so we can investigate this further.

Preparing for a meet and greet

You can indicate through your Mable profile if you’re open to offering free meet and greets to potential clients.

  • Set up a meet and greet in your chat with the client or accept an invite from the client.
  • Pick a place to meet or use Mable’s video call feature.
  • Take copies of your qualifications, police check, and if required your Working with Children Check and COVID vaccine evidence.
  • Confirm you have the right skills and qualifications for the work. When you meet with the client, make sure they are not making assumptions about the specific services you are able to offer. We recommend discussing and creating a list together of the duties involved in their day to day support. Be transparent about the work that you can’t, or don’t wish to do. This is not just limited to qualifications. For example, if you have any physical limitations that make it difficult for you to do anything strenuous, make sure your client understands these at the outset.
  • Ensure clarity on the duties that are required: it’s important that you and the client are really specific about the expectations of what those duties will involve.
    • Even if the tasks don’t require a specific skill set, it pays to ask your client to be really specific when explaining what they believe they should encompass. Cleaning and domestic assistance is a good example, as they’re both broad terms which can be interpreted in different ways.
    • Some support workers might be happy to perform light housework duties like dusting or washing up, but are not comfortable climbing a ladder to clean a client’s windows or mowing the lawn.
    • Similarly, if you’re being engaged to provide social support, does your client expect that you will provide transport?

This conversation will allow you to voice any concerns about what’s expected, or set your own boundaries when it comes to what you are willing to do as part of the job.

Learn more about how to prepare for a meet and greet by downloading our checklist guide.

Meet and greet over the phone

Ensure you treat the first phone conversation like a phone interview, as this client could potentially become a long-term client. Throughout your phone conversation they will be judging whether you are capable for the role.

Voicemail: Make sure you leave a professional voicemail in case a client cannot reach you. When recording your voicemail, make sure you are somewhere quiet and that you sound approachable. Here’s an example: Hi, this is [your name here], I am sorry I missed you. If you could kindly leave your name and number, I will return your call as soon as I can. Thank you!

During your phone interview:

  • Make sure you are in a quiet environment with no distractions. We recommend turning off call waiting on your phone when you are expecting to have a phone interview.
  • Have your notepad and pen ready. Keep your resume in front of you in case you need to refer to it.
  • Posture: Sitting with great posture while you are on the phone will convey a professional tone in your voice. If you are laying on a couch during your phone interview, that energy will be conveyed in your voice.
  • When finishing your conversation, ask questions. You can ask the client what the likelihood is of you receiving the job. You may also wish to finalise rates, the start date, etc.
  • Follow up with a polite email or text within 2-4 hours. You can do this by sending a message through the Mable platform.

After the meet and greet

If your meet and greet has been successful and you have decided to book with the client, the next step is to get a Mable agreement in place. The agreement is a document that sets out all the details and terms of the support service to be provided. Don’t be afraid to be really detailed here. The more specific you are within your agreement, the greater chance you have of avoiding any awkward conversations later and ensuring smooth payments later on. It’s very important that the client accepts the agreement before you start providing support.

Once your agreement is in place, you’re ready to start your support sessions! Read our guidelines to make sure your support experience is safe, successful and enjoyable for both you and the client.

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