Making a good first impression on potential clients – Once you have arranged an initial meeting with a potential client, you could understandably be brimming with excitement.
However, to use a suitable metaphor, this is ultimately just a date, not a lasting relationship; you still need to make sure you come across well on this first encounter. Here are just a few examples of techniques you could use for this purpose…
Research the Potential Client in Advance
If you indeed do this, it will be easy for your knowledge of them to shine through in your exchanges with them at the meeting itself.
“You will be able to provide them with valuable insights before they even ask,” Kevin Getch, founder of the digital marketing agency Webfor, has told Inc. readers. “Ultimately, you will know how you can deliver tremendous value, and doing that will show them that you care.”
Dress the Part
This means avoiding informal attire in favor of clean, professional apparel prepared carefully ahead of time. Some clothes materials can come with specific care instructions that take longer to follow than you might have expected.
Put Cleanliness at the Forefront
This isn’t just about your personal hygiene — it’s also about the vehicle in which you arrive for the meeting. Turning up in a car that is discernibly dirty — or, for that matter, old or damaged — could suggest that your business is nonchalant with its attention to detail.
Essentially, check that the vehicle is sparkling clean before using it for business purposes.
Choose an Attractive Location for the Meeting
If you run your business from home and the meeting is set to be held here, you could find yourself facing an uphill battle to make a good first impression. After all, long-established, successful businesses tend to be operated from dedicated offices.
It could therefore make a lot of sense for you to rent a serviced office — such as one of the serviced offices in Belfast’s Custom House. The sight of this stunning historical building could make the potential client gasp in awe as they arrive.
Turn Up at the Right Time
What exactly is the ‘right’ time? Well, basically, shortly before the meeting is supposed to begin, since you would be demonstrating care and concern for it and, by extension, the potential client.
Nonetheless, BOSS Magazine warns: “Remember that there’s such a thing as being too early, too, as it suggests a lack of other responsibilities. Arriving 10 to 15 minutes early is ideal.”
Establish some Common Ground
Perusing the potential client’s social media profiles beforehand can help you to discern what the two of you have in common.
This can be the subject of small talk you engage in together before the conversation proper. That way, you can come across as friendly and personable rather than a soulless corporate contact.
The idea here is to show the prospective client that you are genuinely interested in them. It also shows that you are actively listening. You could ask this individual about concerns that are especially topical and widespread in their industry.