We are all aware (sometimes painfully) that first impressions are very important. That first meeting with someone can either be the beginning of something amazing or a time consuming hindrance for those prospective clients that could cost you business. The real question is what do you want people to see when they first meet you, as people tend to make that first impression in the first seven seconds of meeting you so getting prepared and being aware isn’t just a good idea, it’s necessary. Here are some ideas on what to think about when expecting to meet new clients, customers and possible business partners.
Best Dressed for Success
The Language of the Body
As well as your dress, the way you hold yourself is the other visual cue that people will take of how you come across. What will people see when they meet you for the first time? Will they see a ‘closed’ person who is slouched, arms folded who doesn’t make eye contact showing they aren’t interested in who they’re talking to or will they see someone standing straight who keeps their gaze, head up with their arms neutrally by their sid, paying attention and ready to do business. Sometimes this can be uncomfortable but the more you do it, the more these can be natural habits in your business dealings.
Confidence is attractive. If when meeting you for the first time people see security and trustworthiness, this goes a long way to giving that first great impression. Of course, over-confidence does the complete opposite and can easily foster insincerity and mistrust. Develop simple techniques like looking someone in the eye, shaking their hand firmly and smiling. Show that propsect that you are positive and confident, making them feel that they’re important. This goes a long way to leaving a fantastic lasting impression as well as good first one.
For some of us, talking is easy and we can go on and on for hours (sometimes about nothing!) but that first impression needs to show respect to other conversational contributors. Don’t dominate your first meeting with endless chatting and give the same amount of time to listen to others as you take talking, show you’re interested in the other person and give them your full attention. Make sure to speak clearly and really listen to what is being said to you, let the person you’re in conversation with know that they’re important.
Forming New Habits and Mindsets
This first impression idea isn’t just for potential clients and customers, this is good advice for any avenue you may find yourself in. Say you’re going for a meeting somewhere and you meet the receptionist: how are you going to treat them? First impressions shouldn’t stop with those you deem ‘worthy’ it needs to become a new habit and mindset to treat everyone the same and let them have great opinions about you. From a first impression can come reputation and a lasting idea of who you are. Have the reputation of being confident, respectful and engaging and that will help you and your business see more success.