Client Meetings: How To Make An Excellent First Impression


You might have an excellent product or service to offer your prospective client, but let's be honest, so might the other business owner who is just waiting to steal this client from you. 

In business, you aren't alone, and the competition is fierce. To convince a client to choose you above anybody else, you need to make an excellent first impression. When you have their attention, they might decide to consider you over any other entrepreneur who will follow in your wake. 

So, how do you make an excellent first impression?

#1: Look the part

If you turn up to the meeting looking like you have just been dragged through a hedge backward (for want of better words), you won't make a great impression. If your clothes aren't pressed, and if your hair is an untidy mess, the client might assume your work is as untidy as you are. 

You need to look the part and that means wearing an outfit that is smart, well-fitting, and clean. Your shoes should be polished too, and on the chances that a sudden blast of wind might hit you when you're traveling to the meeting, you should use a hair product to keep your hair in place. Something akin to this Pomade hair cream should do nicely. When you turn up looking the part, you will be taken more seriously. 

#2: Turn up on time

Don't keep the client waiting! They will undoubtedly be very busy, and if you're not there on time, they might need to cut short your meeting. And even if they aren't busy, they might still assume your lateness is a sign of how good (or bad) you are at meeting deadlines, so they might decide against you.

 If possible, aim to turn up early. This way, if you do face situations that might delay you, you should still get to the meeting on time. But if you are going to be late, let the client know. Yes, they might be a little peeved, but at least you will have shown them some respect by getting in touch. Still, let's dismiss a late arrival, as if you're there on time, looking present and correct, you will create a better impression.

#3: Be prepared for the meeting

You need to have everything you need for the meeting, so don't forget any vital pieces of paperwork, and remember to bring references from other clients and examples of your work. 

You also need to be prepared for your sales pitch and you need to preempt any questions the client might ask you. If you seem unsure during the meeting, you might create distrust in the client, and that will obviously work against you. So, practice what you need to say before you arrive, and list those questions the client might ask you. Invariably, these will include 'why should I choose you over your nearest competitor' and 'can you show me evidence of your work.' When you know what you need to say, at any given opportunity, the better that first impression will be.

So, there you have it. Three ways to make an excellent first impression. Admittedly, some clients might be willing to overlook any mistakes you make at the meeting, but if possible, don't take any chances. The future of your business might hinge on that very first meeting. 

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