Since you can only make one first impression on your business associates, it?s more than important to make a good one. Sometimes we get to change our minds about someone, but in the fast-paced business environment with not enough time to get to know someone deeply, one must rely on first impressions. To dazzle your colleagues, clients and partners, here are a few things to do:
Do your homework
Going into a meeting ?cold? is never a good idea. To warm-up, it?s important to do some research beforehand to get to know your business partners, bosses, the company culture and the products you?re going to discuss. By understanding who you?re dealing with, what their goals are and their past achievements, you will demonstrate interest and attention to detail. Show that you care about the people and the partnership you?re building.
Have an elevator pitch ready
An elevator pitch (a short introduction used in networking and making first impressions) is crucial for growing your business. Create a concise but informative elevator pitch and practice it before every meeting. This way, you?ll always know what to say to potential partners and colleagues and avoid making any negative impressions caused by fumbles and awkward silence.
Dress the part
No matter how much we don?t want to admit it, we all make our first impressions on someone?s physical appearance, so make sure to always look clean, put together and dressed well. To show your attention to detail and your sophistication, don?t forget to add one or two accessories to your outfit. Today, you can find all sorts of elegant jewelry for men that?s unique, elevated and fit for any occasion.
For a very professional and formal occasion, elegant cuff links or tie bars will give you just the right amount of edge. Even if you?re just having a quick meeting over coffee, you can still show off your style with a pin or a unique bracelet. It?s often these small details that will set you apart from the competition and leave the biggest impression.
Be on time
When you?re meeting someone for the first time, they won?t care too much about your excuses for not being there on time. If you?re commuting, plan your route in advance and make sure to arrive a few minutes before your set meeting time. It?s much better to arrive early than late if you want to create a good first impression.
Everyone enjoys conversing and working with people who are polite, courteous and attentive, and anything less than that can ruin your chances of making a good first impression. Give your guests your undivided attention by leaving your phone in your pocket and don?t get distracted by other people. Business people are often tight on time, so if you have to make a phone call or if you?re expecting one, announce it beforehand and excuse yourself politely. This is something most professionals won?t mind.
Regularly update your website and social media
We live in a digital era, so there?s a big chance that your first meeting won?t be the first time your guests have engaged with you. In most cases, people choose to do research on you by looking at your website and your social media, so make sure they look presentable and up-to-date. Also, create a professional signature for your e-mails (it?s easy to add a signature in Gmail, Yahoo or any other mail). It goes without saying not to put anything controversial and explicit on your business social media or website.
Be an active listener
In the business world that?s, unfortunately, full of inflated egos, being an active and attentive listener can leave a great first impression on all people who meet you. Instead of focusing on highlighting our goals, our ideas and our achievements, try to be present in the moment, treat the person opposite you as a human, listen and ask useful questions. By listening well, you will get a lot of useful information on the person and make them feel respected and appreciated, which always feels good.
Passion and enthusiasm are always refreshing and appreciated, so show the people you?re meeting for the first time how excited you are about the event. When clients, colleagues and partners notice passion, they are more likely to give you their business or welcome you into their team, because passion is often closely connected to skill, knowledge and dedication. Show the clients that you value them and the opportunity you have been given. Being authentic and enthusiastic will show people that you will give them your attention and invest time and effort into their satisfaction.
This might seem like a long list of boxes you need to tick off in order to make a good first impression but the truth is that most of the items here only demand respect, professionalism and enthusiasm. If you manage to show that, you?ll always be able to tip the scales to your advantage and stay in good memory after every new meeting.