As it’s often said, the first impression is the last impression. Unfortunately, in the world of ultra-competitive businesses, the margin of error is very slim, and you get just one chance to leave a positive and lasting impression. You never get a second chance to pull off a first impression.
People make judgments and subconscious decisions about new people in the first few seconds. So, starting on the right foot can lend you a huge advantage in a business meeting.
It would be best if you had the immediate wow factor, instantly intriguing prospective customers.
Here are five tips on how to leave a positive and long-lasting impression on your first-time customers:
Do Some Homework
There are a million ways to impress people, but the one that suits best in a business interaction is to do a little research about the clients before your meeting.
A little digging can go a long way, as going cold to meet a potential business client never lets you show the appropriate care and warmth in your behavior.
Search around a bit about them. LinkedIn can be a good start to knowing who they are and what they are about.
This understanding will flatter them and can help you gain their trust. It’s a good approach that shows your preparedness and confirms that you care. This small feeling can decide whether you’ll get the client or not.
Be Ready for Whatever’s Coming
You should always be ready to take up the course of action and grab it with both hands. It would be best if you had a perfect streak of next steps set in your mind.
In a business meeting, you’re selling one way or the other. And when you’re selling, you must try to end the whole thing by initiating a call to action.
Clear communications between you and your potential client about the agenda of the meeting always result in effective action items.
Even the simplest things that create a chance for future connection or reciprocation can be game-changers like a digital visiting card. That way, whenever they’d like, they can contact you. That can move things forward at a much better speed.
Gift Them Some Smiles
In business meetings or conferences, you’re attempting to convey and convince people who’re used to hearing those same things every day. It’s like a tune from a broken radio to them.
So, if you need to capture their attention, you’ll need something special.
In that regard, a good sense of humor can make your first impression memorable.
Break the monotony by spreading some humor over the conversation. A sharp one-liner, a funny observation about something trivial and common- everything counts.
As long as you make them smile or give a good laugh, you can be sure of making a good impression. And who knows, maybe that’s what connects you with your client.
Lend An Ear
The key to understanding people is to listen well. Business meetings are no exception. Talk to them about their problems, identify what’s hurting them and give them thoughtful remedies.
This will show your worth, skill, and reliability without talking too much about yourself. Instead, you can start the conversation casually by talking about their business and what they want to achieve.
People love talking about their lives, and that’s where your listening capabilities will help you. You need to restrict yourself so they can talk as much as they want.
Boasting about things you’ve achieved or ranting about your success will rub clients off the wrong way more often than not. Instead, you need to learn that it’s not about you; it’s all about the clients.
Be Punctual, Be Relaxed
Steve Jobs once said, “The most precious resource we all have is time”.
Now, he was a master businessman. So, you can very well take a leaf out of his book and be punctual.
Make sure to be on time, or even before time, whether the meeting is virtual or happening in the real world. Wasting the client or potential customer’s time will only lower your reputation.
Another recipe for success in these high-pressure situations is to remain relaxed and calm. However high the stakes of the partnership or client are, your inner calm will help you make better decisions.
Smile, show genuine interest, behave politely, and don’t try too hard too soon. Let the chips fall wherever they may. If you remain confident and relaxed, half the battle is already won.
If you can leave a good impression the first time, there’s nothing like building a relationship with the client.
Always have the personal touch, and follow the five tips above to nail every meeting.