From the moment of the first handshake, the impression that you make on people when meeting them for the first time can have a significant effect on the rest of your relationship, whether it’s personal or professional. Making a strong first impression matters, and it can be beneficial for you to work diligently on honing your interpersonal skills and developing habits that will set you apart and allow you to connect with people, network well and build the right relationships that will benefit your business.
When you are meeting someone for business purposes, it is important to communicate that you are trustworthy and capable. You do not necessarily have to use words to communicate this with other people, but instead, you can say those things with your body language, through eye contact and in how you treat people. One of the very first things you can do when meeting someone for the first time is to allow them to speak first. Even if you are the one with the agenda, letting the other person have the first word is a sign of respect, and it can be a positive way to start your relationship off on the right foot.
Another way to make a strong first impression with people is to be an active listener. Don’t just listen to people and wait for your chance to respond — listen to what they are saying, give them time to talk and don’t interrupt. An important part of listening well is making others feel like you really care about their concerns. Put your phone down and become an attentive listener.
In business meetings, part of making a strong first impression is to do your homework beforehand. Be prepared for your conversation by researching the client and being ready with the right information. Taking the time to do a little research before the meeting is a great way to show that you are professional but also personable and prepared. Knowing how to make a good first impression is important, and it’s a worthwhile skill to have, whether you want to simply build stronger relationships or gain more from your business meetings.
By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC