In business, making a strong first impression could be the key to closing a sale, effectively networking or even securing financing for a new project. From a strong handshake to looking the other person in the eye, there is much that you can do make your first meeting beneficial and productive, leaving that other person with the right impression of your business and your goals. There are certain behaviors, however, that could have the opposite effect, leaving the other person with a negative impression. You may be unaware of how you could be sabotaging yourself, but the following are some of the most common ways that people do harm to their cause in a first-time meeting:
- Paying too much attention to their phone (Silence it and put it down!)
- Failing to show interest in the other person’s interests or concerns
- Not looking people in the eye and being polite
- Being unaware of body language and how the other person is responding
- Not remembering or knowing someone’s name or how to correctly pronounce their name
- Being rude to others, such as a waiter, during a meeting
These are all incredibly basic “no-no” behaviors that most people know not to display while in a business-related meeting, yet it is possible that you are actually turning people off through your actions….even if you are completely unaware. For example, you may check your phone more often than you realize. It is possible that your sales pitch is too forceful, yet from your perspective, you are simply communicating your passion for your product or service.
A good first impression can be magical in that it can be the key to long-standing, profitable business relationships. Fortunately, making a strong first impression doesn’t take magic, it just requires self-awareness, communication skills and genuine interest in others. Are you doing anything to drive other’s away? Ask yourself how you could be making a bad first impression, and put the effort into honing your presentation. First impressions matter, and it’s worth it to work on finding that magical formula that works best for you and your business.
By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC