Nine methods entrepreneurs can rely on to help them make a great first impression

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While the way a first meeting goes can’t always make or break a deal, putting your best foot forward is much more likely to lead to a good outcome, especially when it comes to a potential new business partner or client. The first impression you make can set the tone for your entire relationship, which means it’s vital to aim for a positive one.

To help you with this, the members of Council for Young Entrepreneurs offer nine of their top tips to ensure you make a great first impression with a potential partner or client, and explain why using these methods is so beneficial for the future of the relationship.

Contents

1. Bring your sense of humor

A great way to make a good first impression is to show that you have a personality. Too many people are afraid to have a sense of humor. The business world is professional, but also fun. So be yourself. Research your partner or client and have a joke ready to bring a smile to the meeting. You are sure to leave a lasting impression as a pleasure to work with. – Shan Conrad, My online bookkeeping course

2. Be an effective communicator

Making a good first impression with a potential new business partner or customer is essential to building trust and establishing a successful relationship. An effective communication strategy is one of the best ways to do this. That means communicating clearly, concisely and professionally with potential partners or clients. In addition, be prepared to answer questions effectively. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

3. Research them beforehand

Before the meeting, learn as much as you can about the person. Research the company and the person’s background so they aren’t completely blank to you. You can do research online, but it’s even better if you can ask a mutual acquaintance (e.g. a friend, former employee, someone who did business with them) for tips on what makes them tick. – Kalin Kassabov, ProText

4. Find where their needs and your abilities match

Thoroughly research the client’s needs and issues, then analyze your past experience to find out where the client’s needs and your proven capabilities match. Apply this research to ask relevant questions when you meet the customer and show that you understand the customer’s issues. Then present your relevant previous work and skills to prove how you can help the client solve the problems and succeed. – Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

5. Lead with curiosity

Ask a lot of questions! Every first meeting is a potential learning opportunity – on both sides – and a chance to gain a new perspective and insight. Lead with curiosity and openness and try to answer any questions the person you’re meeting with might have. In an ideal world, each participant walks away after learning something about the other. – Lindsay Tanne, LogicPrep

6. Make the meeting about them

When you meet a potential partner, tell them how important the partnership is and why it is important to you. That way they know you want to work with them not just for financial reasons, but because you see real potential in them. If they are a customer, focus on the features of your product and explain how it can make their lives easier. Basically, make it about them, not your product. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

7. Keep Calm and Calm

Keeping calm and composed during a meeting makes for a good first impression. It is normal to encounter objections when meeting a potential business partner or customer. So the key to closing the deal is keeping your composure when faced with disapproval and answering any concerns or questions from the other party with confidence. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable shapes

8. Reference Data and Statistics

I think it is very important to show that the best practices and solutions you offer are not just guesswork or based on emotions. Coming to a meeting prepared with data on the latest trends, references for metrics on various things like which channel works best for specific industries, and so on goes a long way. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

9. Focus on authenticity

I’ve found that my meetings are always more successful when I’m my authentic self. Understand who you are. Believe in who you are. Be that person consistently. People value authenticity and will appreciate being consistent with the same person. – Dan Stevens, Protea Financial