One never comes to experience a second chance to make a first impression. You must try hard to get it right the first time. This is particularly important when meeting potential or new clients. The first impression will determine how the client views your brand, and it will influence whether or not they will purchase from you. How can you ensure that you get it right from the start?
Here are some tips on how to make a good first impression.
1. Maintain Eye Contact
Eye contact is a sign of confidence. When you first meet the new client, look into their eyes and smile warmly. As you keep conversing, maintain eye contact. This does not imply that you should stare at the person. It is okay to look away a few times.
Good times to look at something else include when taking notes or when doing a demonstration. Maintain eye contact when you are talking to the client and when listening to them.
2. Dress Appropriately
Your dressing will determine how seriously the new client will regard you. Showing up for a business meeting wearing jeans and a crop top will only make you appear as a joke. On the other hand, meeting a new client during a golfing event will require you to be in light and snug-fitting clothes. To determine what to wear, think of what products it is you are selling and where the location of the meeting is. Dress well while still remaining comfortable.
3. Talk Confidently, Aiming at Showing Value
You need to know how to carry on conversations during business meetings. Speaking with confidence enables you to gain trust and credibility in the eye of the listener. Speaking slowly ensures your points are heard while using gestures emphasizes your points.
As you speak to the client, show them the value your products or services will add to their lives. Find out beforehand about the client’s needs. You may carry out online research, talk to their associates, and so on. Find out personal details and incorporate them into your conversation without overstepping.
Also, bring your sense of humor and use it to make the client feel comfortable. Aim at having a good time while passing information to the potential client. Show the value of what you are offering and let the client make the final decision without feeling pressurized into doing it. If you offer a trial or free samples, use them to convince the client.
4. Listen and Take Notes
Meeting with a first-time client is not like giving a lecture. While talking about what you offer is important, you also need to listen to the other party’s needs. Allow the client to respond to your comments. They should also feel free to ask questions and raise concerns. Allowing room for this shows the client that you care about them.
To ensure you do not forget this feedback, bring a notebook and jot it down. A notebook will also come in handy in helping you prepare for the meeting. Write down important points so you do not forget them.
To make your listening skills even more noticeable, make use of a notebook or stationery with an embossed logo. Why? A client will often look down at your notebook as you take notes. Having your logo embossed on paper will leave a recurring image in their mind. This remembrance is exactly what you need to make this a long-term client.
5. Come Prepared for the Next Step
What is your expected outcome as you come to this meeting? Have a plan on how to execute it. If the client decides to purchase, how will you go about it? If a future meeting is to be held, when are you available? Think of all possible outcomes and come up with solutions early.
Making a good first impression is all about how you look and communicate. Ensure that everything you do portrays you as the expert. You should be confident and aim at offering solutions.
Generally, you need to look the part, speak the part, and act the part. You are your brand’s representative and everything you do should have a positive impact on the business.
Amy Sloane is an alum of Oregon State University where she studied marketing and business. She spends her free time writing and is a knitting enthusiast. Amy loves reading, cooking, and spending time with her dog, Molly. Follow her on Twitter to read her latest blogs! @AmySloane2