First impressions can really work to your advantage. At the same time, however, the fact that it only takes a few minutes for someone to decide whether or not they like you could hurt your businesses’ reputation.
Imagine that you’re having lunch with a client when one of their friends walks into the restaurant. Your client immediately starts trying to get their attention, and when they come over to your table, you realize that this could be a business opportunity.
The way that you present yourself in these next few minutes is all that matters. You’ll either end up catching the potential client’s attention, or you’ll fade into the background and they won’t remember having met you. Even worse, they could read you in a way that will make them turn other potential clients away from you as well.
If a first impression has the potential to be a lasting impression, how can you make sure that it will be in your favor? Consider these suggestions:
- Always dress to impress. One of the first things someone will notice about you is the way that you look and how clean you are. If you’re dressed super casually, a potential client may assume that you don’t take things seriously.
- Smile, even if you’re caught off-guard. Smiling at someone makes them feel comfortable with you, and most people would rather work with a company that, when it comes down to it, has a happy and understanding employee or leader rather than a bored and unsatisfied one.
- Impressing others means it’s not all about you. Though you want to gain a client, you don’t have to do so by talking their ear off. Encouraging others to talk more may make them like you.
- Avoid talking business straight away. If you jump right into talking business, you may come off as abrasive and otherwise uninterested in the person you’re speaking with. Take some time to get to know the potential client, and even if you’ll be having a short conversation, they’ll likely ask you what you do, which is when you can explain the services your company provides. Taking this approach will make it easier for you to tailor your elevator speech to their needs.
- Be conscious of your body language. If you’re avoiding eye contact with someone that you’ve just met, they may find it more difficult to trust you. Similarly, if you’ve got your arms crossed over your chest, your demeanor could suggest that you you don’t like the person in front of you, which could cause problems down the line.
Do you have any tips on making a good first impression? We’d love to hear from you! Be sure to leave a comment below and share the blog on social media.