How To Make A Great First Impression During a Business Meeting
All too often, people attend meetings, waste valuable time and have nothing to show for it – squandering an opportunity to get discovered, showcase one’s potential, earn respect and share momentum one creates with others. Success in business is all about connections and relationships. And with more and more people working virtually and face-to-face meetings becoming fewer and farther between, the stakes have never been higher for making a good first impression. Here are a few tips to making a great impression at your next business meeting.
Present Yourself in a Professional Manner
- Your style is a signal that you can be trusted to behave and stay focused — make sure what you wear reflects that. That doesn’t mean boring — be fashionable but appropriate.
- Promptness demonstrates seriousness and lateness shows contempt — always run on time, which means factoring in the unexpected, from traffic to construction at the parking garage or delays in public transportation. Tardiness can throw off the entire karma of a meeting and nobody wins.
- If the person you are meeting comes into the waiting room to greet you, stand, give a firm handshake and make good eye contact when returning the greeting.
- Have your agenda ready to be passed out. And get to your point within minutes of the meeting’s start.
- Use analogies based on experiences you have had to help others relate to and better understand potential and/or probable outcomes when a recommendation is shared in the meeting.
- Don’t let your meeting run over the time allotted. Stick to it the schedule, or you may be cut short!
- Attentive listening builds trust. When someone else speaks, make eye contact and show you’re fully engaged in what he is saying. Always allow others time to fully express themselves.
Actively take notes. Taking notes during a meeting gets other people to think that perhaps you are hearing something that they are not. People around you begin to think that you have an edge and have captured a particular insight. It will create intrigue and curiosity, giving you power over those who are not taking notes.
Another effective strategy is to say their words back to them. To make sure you and your client are on the same page, take a few moments throughout your meeting to repeat words back to your client. Example: “So I’m hearing that your main priority on Facebook is to increase the amount of page likes. Did I get that right?”
Provide Quality Input
- If you believe that someone in the room suggested something of value, acknowledge it, help others see the value and guide them to understand its worth by connecting the dots of thought in the room to give the recommendation more context, structure and meaning.
- Asking questions requires self-trust and the understanding that you are simply attempting to provoke diversity of thought to move the room closer to the idea and/or solution. Meetings never really start to create impact until there is vulnerability in the room and people begin to feel safe enough to be themselves and ask questions.
- Making a memorable impression requires you to be bold and take calculated risks so that people notice your confidence and discover your most natural skill sets and abilities.
Finding and winning new clients is one of the most critical things to keep your business going. The very first impression your potential client gets in your first meeting could ultimately affect the success of your business. For a successful long-term working relationship with your client, you have to show your best side and leave an outstanding impression: an impression of professionalism and confidence that convinces clients that you are the right choice. Make it your goal to create a memorable impression in every meeting that you attend, and seize the opportunities that are going unseen by others in the room.
About the Author
DIRECTOR OF INTERNET MARKETING
Tyler is the Internet Marketing Director at Farmore Marketing brings with him multiple years of internet marketing experience across a variety of industries. He loves to play golf, the UConn Huskies and travel to new places!