Meeting a boss, an employee, or a business partner for the first time can be quite stressful. This is a person that you need to impress, but how do you achieve this? After all, aren’t different people impressed by different things? Well, yes, but there are some patterns of behavior that are universally seen as well-mannered. During the first meeting, you won’t have too much time to display your character in full, so you’ll have to focus on several key features. With that in mind, here are the top five tips for making a good first impression in your next business meeting.
By arriving at the agreed location in time (or even better, a couple of minutes early), you will display your punctuality, your professionalism, and your respect towards the other party. By acknowledging that their time has value, you’re already showing them respect. When planning your starting time, make sure to count on some unexpected occurrences. The traffic may be slower than usual, and there’s always a likelihood of jam involved. The urban commute is fairly unpredictable.
2.Dress for the occasion
The way you’re dressed tells volumes about your position in the business world. It also tells quite a bit about yourself. First of all, you need to dress for the occasion. Sure, you want to go in formal attire, but a white tie might be pushing it. It also depends on whether you’ve scheduled a lunch, a coffee, or a dinner meeting. Just make sure that your wardrobe is stocked for all these occasions in order to avoid having to make last-minute buys.
3. Quit bad habits
Sure, you like to relax with a glass of wine every now and then, but the last thing you want is to get wasted during an important business meeting. Sure, you enjoy a nice cigarette every now and then but going through an entire box of cigarettes during the meeting is never a good idea. It shows you as someone who can’t control their habits. Cigarettes also make you smell bad and make you seem nervous. If you have to, it’s far better to get a vape device and order some dinner lady vape juice as a replacement. This will make for a much better first impression.
4. Listen more than you talk
A person you’re talking to is always more concerned with what they need than what you need. During a business meeting, they will be desperate to convey this to you, as long as you’re willing to listen. One of the best ways to make a good first impression is to memorize things that they’ve mentioned and bring them up later in a conversation. This is one of the simplest ways of subtly demonstrating that you’re actively paying attention. Also, if you bring this up during the next meeting, you will make an even better impression. This way, you’re showing them that their stories are either important or interesting enough to remember months or weeks later.
5. Leave your phone in your pocket
One of the most vexing habits of people in the business world is being on their phones 24/7. During the business meeting, it’s for the best that you leave the phone in your pocket, preferably with the sound off, as well. Sure, the temptation will sometimes be hard to resist, but whatever it is, it can certainly wait. Also, by giving someone your full and undivided attention, you’re making them feel privileged. Robert Brault said that charisma is nothing more than the art of giving someone your full attention.
The impression you make during your first meeting (good or bad) will be quite difficult to shake off in the future. Regardless of if you’re planning to lay the foundations for great cooperation or loyalty, the key thing is making a good first impression. Even during strictly business meetings, the person across the table is examining you as a person, as much as they’re reviewing your business offer. Don’t let all of this go to waste.