You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so you need to make sure you get it right ahead of time. Whether it’s consciously or unconsciously, everyone makes judgements about the competence, character, and professionalism of others based on their first impression. And, just as you make judgements on other people, other people will make judgements about you and your company. So how can you make sure you impress those who interact with your business? Read on for some tips.
Planning is Key
Not only does planning help to reduce feelings of anxiety, but it can also help you to show authority. If you have an important meeting coming up, or are planning on hosting a conference, make sure you do your homework – this will instantly give you an advantage over your competition. Make yourself familiar with the industry, and with the client you are meeting – look into who they are and what they offer. And, click here for more information on venues – it’s surprising how much a good venue can impress a new client.
In order to make a good first impression you need to be punctual, so make sure you arrive ahead of time. By arriving at an event or meeting early, you are showing those that you are meeting that you are respectful of their time, and that you have a capable and responsible personality. The earlier that you arrive, the more time you’ll also have to find a parking spot, visit the restroom, and gain your composure – three things that can all reduce feelings of anxiety prior to a big meeting.
If you arrive to a meeting looking professional, you will instantly be giving others the impression that your company is also professional. This doesn’t mean that you have to go out and buy designer suits, but it does mean that you should take care over the way that you dress. Think conservative yet classy, and invest in some key classic wardrobe pieces that you can utilise every time you speak to a new client. Remember as well to dress according to your body shape – you need to make your client feel comfortable as opposed to awkward.
Listen, Listen, Listen
You need to give your client time to talk about themselves and their business, and they will expect you to respond appropriately. It is therefore vital to listen effectively to everything they say in order to build trust and show them that you care about their company. Make eye contact with the person you are meeting, and show that you are completely engaged in what he or she is saying. Don’t interrupt whilst your client is speaking, and wait for them to finish before you ask pertinent questions. The better you can listen to potential clients and customers, the more they will feel like you care, enabling you to build up a rapport.
The next time you have a business meeting, or are speaking at a venue, keep the above tips in mind. You are sure to make a good impression.