During meetups, a first impression has the power to make or break a business deal. Most people judge you within the first seconds of meeting you. Apparently, the impression you create when business networking is 93% independent on what you have to say. You never get a second chance at making a first impression. Therefore, it is essential that you make good use of the single opportunity you have to impress. In this article, we review the best-proven techniques on how to make a good first impression.
Most business networking events usually set a dress code for its attendees. If this is the case, then adhere to it, as it will help boost your confidence and prevent you from looking out of place. If there is no set dress code for the event or meeting, then remember to dress modestly with simple makeup and jewelry. Think of what you want your outfit, makeup and jewelry to suggest to your client. If you want to show professionalism, then an official outfit will do. It helps to put the outfit together and seek the opinion of a trusted friend on exactly what comes to their mind when they see you in it. Remember, if you show up shabbily dressed, then no one will take your business pitch seriously. Statistical research actually shows that 55% of your impression depends on your physical appearance.
Mind Your Body Language
Even before you open your mouth, your body language may betray you or encourage your client to listen to what you have to say. The first thing you ought to do to create a good first impression is smile genuinely. Not only will it improve your confidence, it will also make you look easily approachable, which is a character most clients crave. Maintain an upright posture, with your chin up when walking, and as you approach them, offer a strong handshake. Sloughing, dragging of the feet and looking feeble usually come out as being unconfident and inexperienced about what you have to offer. Maintaining eye contact when speaking to your client will show your confidence, which indicates great knowledge and experience in your field of work or business. How do you learn the body language of others? This is also important to learn as you meet your potential clients.
Know What to Expect
It is often good practice to know exactly what you want from the meetup, as well as what the client expects. Make sure that you are knowledgeable, skilled and experienced enough in terms of whatever will be included in your business pitch. This will not only make the whole networking experience smoother and easier. It will put you out as someone who is serious about what they have to offer their client. Researching about your client prior to your meeting will ensure that you know exactly how to play with your words to impress them beyond doubt.
Be a Good Listener
Listening is a skill that many people may ignore, but it saves you in most situations. If you allow your client to talk while you listen before giving your genuine opinion, they will know that you have their best interest in mind and that you respect their opinion. Listening before speaking will give you the chance to think critically about the client’s desires and preferences, and in turn allow you to judge and make right decisions based on them. When you speak, be interesting and show interest in the subject matter. Although, keep it concise and clear to avoid your client’s attention from veering off in the middle of the meeting.
Making a great first impression is not rocket science, but given our busy schedules, we may forget some of the important tips when business networking. The above tips are vital in making a good first impression and capturing our clients’ and customers’ interest. However, if you experience an unfamiliar situation during business networking, you should learn to trust your instincts; they are created to guide us in the right direction.
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