Everyone knows how important first impressions are. It doesn't matter what setting you're in – a date or a business meeting – the impression you leave initially will dictate the rest of the meeting.
As a businessperson, you can't take first impressions lightly. In fact, you and your business only have seven seconds to make an impression, with 55 percent of first impressions made by what people see, 38 percent caused by what people hear, and 7 percent by what people say.
Whether a high-profile client is coming to visit your office or an extremely qualified candidate is coming for an interview, you need to ensure you're putting your best foot forward. If you're really serious about taking your company to the next level, you need to step back and look back on the kind of first impression you're making.
Any important meeting demands you dress appropriately for it. Get the professional look that will make your clients have faith in your abilities and your work ethic. Wearing a suit jacket is a necessity for men and women, both, and you should always aim for a clean and polished look. Keep jewelry at a minimum and don’t wear accessories that might appear flashy.
The one thing that should stand out in your outfit is your ID badge. You should ensure your ID remains clean and safe by securing it in an ID badge holder, which you can connect to a lanyard to wear around your neck. Keep it in sight, so that people can actually read your name. We all know how awkward first meetings can get when someone forgets the other person’s name and has to ask for it further down the line.
Whoever, you're planning on meeting, you should always look into them beforehand. Going into a meeting unprepared gives the impression you're not interested and is a missed opportunity to impress the other party.
When you research into someone, you gain a deeper understanding of what they do and what they'll respond to. By taking out time to look into your meeting's audience, it gives the impression that you're interested in further meetings.
The concept of an elevator pitch isn't foreign to entrepreneurs. For those who don't know, an elevator pitch is a concise introduction of your business that can be used to grow it and make valuable connections. Before every important meeting, it's vital to practice your elevator pitch to ensure you're making a mark.
Being confused about what to say gives off the impression that you're not confident in your business or don't have enough critical information to tell people. Ensuring you take out time to practice this will guarantee you're not fumbling and are ready to pitch your business without a hitch.
It often happens that when we're meeting someone for the first time, we keep thinking about the impression we're leaving on them. Unfortunately, this overthinking does quite the opposite – it robs you of the opportunity to make a good impression in the first place.
You need to be focused on the person in front of you and pay attention to what they're saying. By listening attentively, you can first remember their name and respond correctly to any questions they might have. It also helps you have a more productive conversation.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to impress clients, and anyone else who visits your company, is to show them how passionate you are when talking about your business and the work that you do. When people can see your energy radiating off of you and see how excited your job makes you, it automatically instills confidence in your abilities and the business.
An essential aspect of nailing in-person meetings is “mirroring.” Mirroring is a psychological trick that helps you copy the person's verbal and non-verbal behavior in front of you. To reflect successfully, you need to be extremely observant and notice the other person's body language and how they speak. Then, it would be best if you reflected back on it.
For instance, if someone's talking to you calmly and in soft tones, you should match that with a confident and slow conversation. Likewise, if the person in front of you is making small talk, you should avoid changing the conversation's flow by dragging in serious or important topics of discussion.
Information is abundant out there, and, no doubt, it's overwhelming. If you want you and your business to stand out, you need to ensure you make an impact by highlighting how you can help out the person in front of you.
In meetings with potential clients, for instance, always start by pointing out the problem your business is experienced at solving and leaving a mark. People aren't just interested in a business's operations; they're interested in brands that make valuable contributions. This is your chance to make people remember you for the good you're doing.
There's nothing that people love to see and hear about more than results. They are even more impactful when you're able to measure them. Whoever you're talking to should know how successful your business is doing and how everyone strives to make things possible.
It would be best if you tell potential clients and candidates about your company's culture, the vision and mission you stand by, and how passionate everyone is. If you're proud of your company, then you should tell everyone about it.
In-person meetings are tricky, but that doesn't mean they're impossible to nail. By practicing, again and again, you can easily make a positive first impression that everyone is bound to remember. The key to everything is practice; it's going to help you overcome any mistakes you're making along the way. The more prepared you are, the better you're going to get at this.
What other tips can help one make a lasting first impression? Let us know in the comments below!