A quality first impression can make the difference between being a successful business person and being business person who isn’t in business for too long. It isn’t fair that people form an instant impression of us before taking the time to get to know us – but it is what humans do. People do it to us and we do it to others.
If you have a potential new client and need to make a grand first impression, here are steps you can take:
As you get dressed in the morning, look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Would I hire me?” If the answer is “No” – then why should someone else hire you? Take the time to dress professionally and practice good grooming habits. This shows the potential client you are serious about business, and you care about making a good first impression.
Show up on time
Being on time is respectful. Being late is disrespectful. It’s that simple. Never keep a potential client waiting. If possible, plan to arrive a little earlier than your potential client will. Spend that time taking a few deep breaths and prepping the things you will need at the meeting such as your laptop or work samples.
Have a stand-out handshake
Handshakes start and end all business deals and are a key element of a first impression in the business world. Your handshake shouldn’t be too hard or too soft. It should be assertive but friendly. Be sure to maintain eye contact with your potential client while your hands are connected. Don’t forget to smile!
After you’ve made a grand first impression, spend your time focusing on the needs and concerns of your potential client. Being a good listener is key, and increases your like-ability.