The importance of making a great first impression cannot be overstated. It is one of the most essential business skills to possess. You have only one chance to make a first impression, with no do-overs, so you want to make it count. First impressions speak volumes about who you are and what you represent. They also stick like honey. There are many tips you can follow to make a great first impression.
1. Be Prompt
There is never a good excuse for being late for that first important meeting. Allow plenty of extra time for possible unforeseen delays. In fact, plan to arrive at least a few minutes early.
2. Be Friendly
A genuine smile and firm handshake speak volumes when it comes to making a first impression. They demonstrate that you are both friendly and confident. It can also help show what great customer service skills you possess and will give to potential customers.
3. Be Engaging
Pay close attention to what is being discussed and demonstrate a genuine interest. Avoid becoming distracted and remain focused. Ask pertinent and appropriate questions about the other person’s interests. An important rule of thumb in sales is to listen well in order to deliver well. Knowing who you’re talking to and the right questions to ask can make a great impression on them.
4. Be Confident
You want to stand out from the others. One way to do this is to appear self-confident and “comfortable in your own skin.” Your overall presentation will make a lasting impression. Appear natural through your body language and your overall appearance. One way to be natural is to practice your presentation and even seek out presentation training so you can be prepared and look polished.
5. Be Positive
Focus on projecting a positive, upbeat and can-do attitude. Remember that your attitude shows through in everything you do and say. Part of being positve is understanding your topic and knowing what you want to say.
6. Stay Connected
Stay in touch after your initial meeting. Do not hesitate to regularly follow up. Remember that out of sight is out of mind.
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