Make first impressions count

You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Here are a few tips to help you to make a good first impression with new clients, contacts and during business meetings.

Focus

Being known as a ‘natural’ at interpersonal communication is not just a gift that a select few enjoy. We can all enjoy the reputation of being a great communicator. Focusing the conversation on the other person takes the pressure off you. Avoid interrogating your new acquaintance, and even if you are nervous, make sure you always slow your speaking rate down.

Presentation is everything

Adjust your posture, stand up tall and adjust your voice and gestures to a positive setting. Establish rapport with your new contact by mirroring their head nods and tilts. Speak at their pace and volume level. You’d be surprised by just how many different ‘voices’ a successful salesperson uses in a day – they spend a large amount of time mirroring the other person’s gestures, voice, language, pace, intonation and volume.

It’s about them

Encourage your contact to talk about their business, their successes and their achievements. Don’t make it about you – give them the opportunity to talk about themselves. Do your research before you meet your new contact. If their firm has been in the press for positive reasons then refer to it and compliment their business. Then step back and let them talk. Ask questions and listen – you have two ears and one mouth so aim to use them in that ratio.