Assessing risk in meeting new clients

Whether you’re meeting a new client or simply trying to manage a troublesome one, it can help to do a quick assessment for risk.

Questions to help you assess risk in meeting new clients:

How did you find this client?

  • Referral from a trusted business contact who has worked with this individual before
  • Referral from a trusted personal contact who knows the individual well
  • Referral from someone you do not know very well
  • Past contact at an event, meetup or seminar
  • Self referral via a website, telephone or email as a result of marketing efforts

Where will you be meeting the client?

  • Working from home
  • Working alone in an office in a building
  • Working alone in an office in a shared use office
  • Working with others in a shared office space – but at times when other office workers may be away
  • Working from a quiet location, such as a personal trainer at a client’s home or condo gym, a real estate agent showing a home or running an open house,

Is the setting isolated?

Will you be alone with the client?

Do other people you work with or share space with care about safety and risk management? Points to consider:

  • Do they respect your concerns?
  • Do they take steps to manage safety for themselves?
  • Do they take steps to manage safety for you and others using the space?

Do you assess risk and safety when you meet new clients?

Do you have a safety plan?

Is the client drunk, high or showing signs of behaviour that worry you?

Is there anything about the individual’s past or current behaviour that raises a concern for you?

Does the client suggest an alternative meeting place, such as a coffee shop?

How does the client respond if you suggest an alternative meeting place?

Are you willing to use your safety plan?

Do you ignore your gut reactions and warning signs?


Taking steps to assess risk and safety concerns in meeting new clients can help you feel more confident and secure. By considering your safety, you can focus on building business relationships, solving client problems and doing the work you do best.