Whenever someone represents their business, they’re speaking on behalf of the brand. They need to get everything right or they’re going to portray their whole company in a negative light. This is why employers spend so much time carefully choosing and grooming those who interact with other companies. If you’re ready to be an ambassador for your brand, it’s vital that you do things the right way. And we’re going to show you how to do that.
You’ll notice that we haven’t told you to dress to impress. This isn’t necessary, because not every meeting requires that you dress your best. If you’re visiting a client at a bar, you don’t need to wear a three-piece suit. Business casual will be more than welcome. Overdressing is as bad as underdressing, because it makes the other person feel like they’re standing out in a negative fashion.
Objects and Psychology
The way you arrange the objects in a room and the way you arrange yourself has a big impact on how someone is going to respond to you. Here are some top tips for making sure you avoid sabotaging yourself when it comes to the arrangement of objects in your vicinity:
- Avoid standing too close to someone. Let them have their personal space. At the same time, don’t give them too much personal space or they’ll feel like you’re trying to pull away.
- Don’t place chairs and desks in front of you when you speak. Subconsciously, this creates distance between two parties.
- Equality is something you need to consider. Little things, like having the client’s chair slightly lower than yours and having a leather-backed office chair, whilst they sit on a stool, will ultimately create a sense of dislike. Speak to them on an equal level.
Creating a good first impression begins and ends with manners. If you have bad manners, don’t expect anyone to give you what you want. Eliminate any and all potential for bad manners. It’s unprofessional and it’s not going to lead anywhere. Of course, you know you have to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, but here are some things that people don’t always think about that you need to stay away from.
- Never let your mobile phone ring. Leave it on silent and don’t break off the meeting to answer it.
- Don’t chew gum whilst you speak. You don’t want to spit all over the client and they don’t want to see the inside of your mouth.
- Opting for risqué humour. There’s nothing wrong with a politically incorrect joke, but not when you’re meeting someone for the first time. You don’t know how they’re going to react to it.
Get Your Stuff Together
The best way to create a good first impression is to have your stuff together. Take command and show that you know what you’re doing. Don’t meet a business partner and then deliberate over where you’re going to take your lunch. Give them a suggestion and see how they react to it. Even if you end up visiting somewhere they’ve picked, the point is you’ve shown you’re a person who knows where they’re going.
It doesn’t sound like much, but there’s nothing more frustrating than someone who doesn’t seem to have any idea of what they’re doing next. Believe it or not, this is the sort of thing that can cause a company to lose business. The qualities of the business representative are seen as the human equivalent of the qualities the company possesses.
Follow these tips and you’ll make a great first impression when it comes to your next business meeting!