How To Make Good First Impressions With Clients
Research shows that people in a business setting form a solid impression of their peers within seven seconds of meeting. That impression sets the tone for the business relationship for a long time or sometimes even forever. These 10 tips will help you ace first impressions and sow fertile soil for fruitful partnerships.
Making Good First Impressions As An Individual
When you meet your clients face-to-face for the first time, you can employ these tips to make good first impressions.
Look Your Best
A pleasant appearance goes a long way during first impressions. It shows you are a master at taking the best care of yourself, which suggests you can take good care of your co-workers and customers. It also shows you care about appearances, which is very important for any business.
One way to look your best is by dressing well. Buy a suit, some nice shirts, and professional shoes, and wear them according to the occasion. Dressing well isn’t just a meaningless custom — it really does elevate how others perceive you in terms of professionalism and respect.
Another way is through personal grooming. Taking care of your skin, your hair, and your other features is just as important for men as for women.
If you have agreed upon a time to meet with your client, it is absolutely essential that you be there at that time. Being late communicates that you either don’t care enough about your business to keep appointments or that you are too disorganized to keep your promises.
Besides, it makes the client mad and sets a negative tone for the meeting before it even begins.
Give A Good Handshake
The handshake didn’t become the standard business greeting in most western cultures for no reason. It is a very quick way for both parties to show they are composed and have integrity, and the way they do that is by delivering a firm handshake.
Grasp the other person’s hand with a firm grip, but not so strong that it might hurt. Give two enthusiastic but gentle shakes up and down. Make the shakes controlled and measured, never wild.
Also, remember that what you are doing with your eyes is just as important as the handshake itself. Make sure to maintain strong, confident eye contact.
Check out this more detailed guide on how to give the perfect handshake.
Way too many face-to-face business interactions begin with “Hello, nice to meet you, I’m [your name], and you must be [their name]. I’ve heard a lot about you, and I’m very excited to work with you.” It’s boring. It won’t be remembered.
Instead, try opening the conversation in a creative way, like “ladies and gentlemen, the legend herself, [their name]!” You might want to try something else that fits your personality and the occasion. The point is, open with something memorable that others won’t do, which will leave an imprint.
Speak Slowly and Clearly
Speaking slowly and clearly has a multitude of positive effects. It has been proven to make people think you sound:
- More eloquent, even if you are saying the same words.
- More confident that what you’re saying is accurate.
- More likable.
- More relaxed.
- More knowledgeable.
- More passionate.
- Easier to understand.
Speaking slowly is a positive for you, too, because it will decrease the chances you forget to mention something or trip over your words.
Good Posture (Smile)
Standing up straight and putting your shoulders back is a communication hack that is often forgotten because resting your spine muscles is more comfortable for most of us. Don’t give in to that temptation, and maintain good posture when meeting with a client.
Smiling is also a huge plus. People take more easily to others if they’re smiling, and this holds true in business.
In business, clients love working with people who ask questions about the client’s needs. Try to squeeze at least one question that shows you care into your interaction as early as possible when making first impressions.
Making Good First Impressions As A Company
If possible, meeting face-to-face with every client as their first real interaction with your company is a good idea. Bigger companies probably won’t be able to make that happen, though, and many of their clients will get their first impressions of the company from visiting a storefront or some other method of B2C contact. Here are some ways to make sure those types of first impressions are as positive as they can be.
Have Helpful Phone Greeters
If a customer is contacting your business without actually going to a business location, their preferred method of contact is usually phone. It’s your job to make it easy for them to reach you or someone at your company via telephone and to make sure that the person makes it easy for them to do what they need to do.
Make Your Emails Pop
Your clients probably receive hundreds of emails a day, so you need to make yours stand out. Even if the email contains the information they need to read, no matter how the email is formatted, something flashy and elegant will make a good impression.
It’s important that you don’t go overboard. Garish fonts and noisy images are attention-grabbing but tacky, which is not the look you want. Instead, go for something subtle but visually pleasing.
Cleanliness is Key
Though it might seem secondary to running the business, keeping a clean store or office is vital in making good first impressions with clients or potential customers. Even a little bit of dirt or clutter on your sign or in your waiting room could be the deciding factor that loses you a client’s business.
Although it’s perhaps unfortunate, first impressions are the single most important interactions of business partnerships. Please make your first impressions the best they can be by following these tips!
FOR A DEEPER DIVR INTO THE PSYCHOLOGY OF FIRST IMPRESSIONS, CHECK OUT THIS FANTASTIC PRESENTATION BY DR. LISA FOSBENDER!