Making the correct first impression at a business meeting – how easy is it?

In the article below, we will talk you through exactly how to make the perfect opening impression in a business meeting.

We’ve all been there; whether it’s meeting your other half’s parents, attending a job interview, or trying to close an important business deal, getting off on the right foot is crucial. After all, first impressions can be nervy, right? Did you know that on average you have just seven seconds to make a good first impression? That’s not long at all — especially when there are so many factors to acknowledge!

Be on time to your meeting – if not early!

If you’re on early to your business meeting, this not only creates a good impression, but it also helps avoid unnecessary stress by allowing you to get used to your surroundings and to compose yourself. Both of these factors can be crucial if you need to present to your potential clients.

America’s former president, Eisenhower, was famous for his ‘when to arrive for a meeting’ philosophy, which meant that if you weren’t 10 minutes early for the meeting, then you were late.

Clients will be busy people — don’t waste their time by not being punctual. If your meeting is planned for a set time, turn up early.

Dress for the occasion

Steer clear of those Converse trainers and ripped jeans — it’s important to dress like the professional you are trying to portray yourself as. Although it may sound obvious, turning up well dressed to your appointment really can help you go a long way. After all, if the shoe was on the other foot, do you think you would pay attention and sign a contract if the person standing in front of you was unkept? Probably not.

Women can also benefit from tailored clothing of conservative colours and patterns. Dark grey or navy should be staple colours in your outfit choice. For men on the offer hand, a nicely fitted suit with clean — an emphasis on clean — shoes will give the impression that you are proud of your appearance and are likely to take pride in your client’s needs, too.

What about your body language?

During your meeting, be sure to smile, shake everyone’s hand who is in the meeting and keep good eye contact. Smiling will put potential clients at ease, offering a warm impression of yourself, while firmly shaking hands can command respect. Keeping eye contact portrays you as a positive person, while those who avoid eye contact can sometimes be seen as being ‘shifty’ or rude — not ideal for a business meeting! It should be second nature to use positive body language in any meetings, but sometimes this can be overlooked.

Keep an eye on your pronunciation!

Your client may become frustrated if they have to continuously ask what you said, so whatever you do, don’t mumble! Having an accent won’t matter as long as you are clearly annunciating your words. By speaking clearly, it’s easy to get your point across and it will make your meeting run more smoothly and, let’s face it, the smoother the meeting, the more likely you are to land that elusive deal! It also allows you to build a relationship via small talk. Again, speaking clearly enables this to happen, as if they don’t understand you, they won’t engage.

Watch your vehicle choice!

Audis are often stereotypically linked to businessmen and women. Why not purchase a used Audi A1 for an affordable yet attractive choice? This can have a positive impact on any potential clients who see you pull up! Sometimes first impressions can even begin before you walk through the door. We’ve all heard of stereotypes revolving around certain types of car, but did you ever think about how this may affect any potential business deals?

A quick five-step plan to help you land that all-important business deal. Remember, don’t drive a ‘boy-racer’ style car to your meeting, arrive early, dress snappy, be open and friendly, and make sure everyone can understand you! Master these points and you’ll have a great chance of getting the result you are looking for. 

Sources

http://www.businessinsider.com/only-7-seconds-to-make-first-impress...

https://www.forbes.com/consent/?toURL=https://www.forbes.com/sites/...

http://www.sideroad.com/Business_Etiquette/business-body-language.html

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/small-business-attire-for-women-3...

https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/growth-strategies/20...

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