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Five ways to make the best first impression during a business meeting

You don’t want to mess up when meeting people for the first time, no matter if it’s being introduced to your partner’s parents or heading along to an interview for a new job. On average, it’s claimed that seven seconds is all the time you have in order to make a good first impression.

As this isn’t a long time at all, here’s what you should be doing to make the best first impression if the occasion happens to be a business meeting…

1.   It’s important to be punctual

Clients are going to be leading busy lives. Therefore, don’t waste their time by not being punctual. If your meeting is planned for a set time, turn up early. America’s former president, Eisenhower, was famous for his ‘when to arrive for a meeting’ philosophy, which meant that if you weren’t 10 minutes early for the meeting, then you were late.

You can also avoid unneeded stress by being early. This is because arriving before anyone else allows you to get used to your surroundings and to compose yourself. Both of these factors can be crucial if you need to present to your potential clients.

2.   Display positive body language

Positive body language should be second nature to many people within business meetings. However, sometimes this can be overlooked. Be sure to smile, shake everyone’s hand who is in the meeting and keep good eye contact. Smiling will put potential clients at ease, offering a warm impression of yourself, while firmly shaking hands can command respect. Keeping eye contact portrays you as a positive person, while those who avoid eye contact can sometimes be seen as being ‘shifty’ or rude — not ideal for a business meeting!

3.   Dress in an appropriate manner

It’s vital you take your time when dressing for a business meeting. After all, if the shoe was on the other foot, do you think you would pay attention and sign a contract if the person standing in front of you was unkept? Probably not, so steer clear of those Converse trainers and ripped jeans — it’s important to dress like the professional you are trying to portray yourself as.

Men should be aiming to look clean and crisp with their entire attire. A nicely fitted suit with clean — an emphasis on clean — shoes will give the impression that you are proud of your appearance and are likely to take pride in your client’s needs, too. Women can also benefit from tailored clothing of conservative colours and patterns. Dark grey or navy should be staple colours in your outfit choice.

4.   Don’t get lazy with pronunciation

You should never mumble when speaking in a business meeting. Nobody likes needing to continuously ask what it was you said. If this happens, your client could become frustrated, which will take away from all the good that may occur in your meeting. Having an accent won’t matter as long as you are clearly annunciating your words.

Speak in a clear manner and you should always get your point across without any trouble. Furthermore, it will make your meeting run more smoothly and, let’s face it, the smoother the meeting, the more likely you are to land that elusive deal! It also allows you to build a relationship via small talk. Again, speaking clearly enables this to happen, as if they don’t understand you, they won’t engage.

5.   Consider your choice of vehicle

Have you thought about making a first impression before you even walk through the door of your chosen meeting room? We’ve all heard of stereotypes revolving around certain types of car, but did you ever think about how this may affect any potential business deals? Audis are often stereotypically linked to businessmen and women, meaning that those who drive an Audi A3are thought to be in the business industry. Lookers offer a fantastic range of Audi A3 Saloon cars which may be the perfect option if you’re considering this! This can have a positive impact on any potential clients who see you pull up!

We hope this five-step plan will provide you with a huge helping hand for you landing that all-important business deal in the new year and beyond. Just remember, don’t drive a ‘boy-racer’ style car to your meeting, arrive early, dress snappy, be open and friendly, and make sure everyone can understand you! Master these points and you’ll have a great chance of getting the result you are looking for.

Sources

http://www.businessinsider.com/only-7-seconds-to-make-first-impression-2013-4?IR=T

https://www.forbes.com/consent/?toURL=https://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2011/11/02/5-ways-to-make-a-killer-first-impression/

http://www.sideroad.com/Business_Etiquette/business-body-language.html

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/small-business-attire-for-women-3514813

https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/growth-strategies/2016/03/10-advantages-to-arriving-early-to-meetings.html

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