For everyone at any stage of business, first impressions are vital, but when you’re meeting with a potential client for the first time this is even more crucial. There are rigid guidelines you should follow for how to approach new clients. Whilst you may have communicated with them online or even over the phone, if you have a face-to-face meeting with a potential client before you start working with them, then it’s important that you do your best to appear professional in order to seal the deal.
Appearing professional, insightful and dedicated will help you to take your first steps towards a long and successful business relationship with your potential client. Often, the individual in question will decide early if they’re interested in working with you or not, which is why your first meeting needs to go well and you need to show yourself to be the person they want to work alongside.
For those business people who are unsure of how to make the right impression, here are 5 ways you can ensure that you make a positive impact on your potential clients and get them working with your organization quickly and efficiently.
You can work towards creating a good impression before you even leave for your meeting by preparing in advance. Learn about the company that you’ll be meeting with, the individual who will be representing it and how their organization has operated in your chosen area before they considered collaborating with you. Show your research in your meeting and your potential client will be impressed that you’ve taken the time to look into them and really prepare for your meeting. This will also save you time in the meeting, as they won’t have to explain as many of the intricacies of their organization to you.
Arrive Slightly Early
When trying to make the best first impression in business, it is essential to arrive early. Punctuality is important, and as the service provider it’s important that you take the initiative and arrive slightly early. This shows that you are keen, but also that you value your potential client’s time. Arrive early and take a book, a newspaper or a tablet computer to occupy yourself with. But make sure that you put this away the moment the other members of your meeting arrive. Show your attention quickly so that you don’t appear disinterested. Being early will demonstrate that you’re engaged and committed to the success of the meeting, and also that you are organised.
Dress To Impress
The clothes you wear will be one of the first things that your potential client notices, so it’s important that you choose wisely. In general, smart casual is the preferred style for most business meetings. However, you should not go too casual as you could appear unkempt and disinterested. Try selecting plain, clean and smart clothes and then enhancing them with a statement accessory, like a luxury bag. SSENSE offers a wide range of Saint Laurent bags. Of course, you can find a luxury bag to set off your outfit and give yourself the confidence you need to make a great first impression.
Be Approachable And Open
In describing your company’s service offering and how it could benefit your potential client’s business, it’s important that you are honest and don’t over-exaggerate. This will help you to earn their respect and show that you are dedicated to making your collaboration work. If at any point you’re unsure of something, it’s important that you’re open about this, as they will quickly be able to notice if you’re hiding something or not being honest. Everyone is entitled to be unsure and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it; it is better to show that you’re unsure and be open about it than it is to pretend that you know something that later turns out to be untrue.
Throughout your meeting, it’s important that you’re attentive and listen closely to everything that’s being discussed. You should engage with all your clients as if they were one of your company’s elite customers. If you appear bored or like you’re not listening properly, then your potential client will think that you’re disinterested and unprofessional. They will also worry about the level of interest you will take in actually providing the service they hire you and your company for. As such, attentive listening is vital for those who want to really impress potential clients and improve their chances of collaborating with them. You could enjoy a long and fruitful business relationship with this individual and their organization, so the information you learn during your first meeting could be invaluable in the future.
The first impression your new client has of you could be the difference between your company securing a lucrative new contract and being turned down in favor of your competition, so it’s important that you do things right. While it sounds simple, how you welcome clients is essential to the business you receive. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it should help you to make a good impression and show your potential clients that you’re a trustworthy, reliable business leader.