How to Make a Good First Impression with Your Business Prospects

Today, I want to share some practical tips about how to make a good first impression with your business prospects.

None of this is rocket science.

However, many business people forget to do these basic things.

How to Make a Good First Impression with Your Business Prospects

As a result, they lose some potential business without even realizing why.

I don’t want that to happen to you.

You’ve probably heard that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Well, that statement is so true.

Whether it’s right or wrong, most people are quick to come to an opinion about someone else.

Most people form an opinion of someone in a matter of seconds.

It’s how we are hardwired.

It’s instinctive.

I’ve also found that once people make an impression of you, it’s hard for them to change that impression.

That’s why making a good first impression is critical, especially in business.

Listed below are 7 simple things you can do to make a good first impression with your business prospects.

These tips are listed in no particular order.

Enjoy the information.

# 1 Dress to Impress

How you dress is extremely important, especially in the world of business.  It will vary by the type of business that you own.  For example, if you are an accountant or lawyer, you’ll probably want to wear a suit and tie or business suit when meeting with prospects.  If you are a painter, you’ll probably wear jeans and a t-shirt.  Whatever you do, make sure you aren’t out in public in yoga pants or ripped jeans when you are meeting with clients.  Have a clean, neat appearanceAlways try to dress one level higher than the prospect you are meeting with. 

# 2 Smile

Your smile is one of your best assets.  Even if you don’t have the most beautiful teeth, SMILE when talking with your prospects.  It puts them at ease and makes you more likeable.  I’ve also found that when I smile, the other person almost always smiles back.  It’s a simple way to break the ice.

# 3 Body Language

You want to come across as confident and poised, but not overly aggressive or in your face.  Make sure you have a good handshake, not a limp one.  Walk with your shoulders erect.  Walk with a purpose and sense of urgency.  When you are conversing with prospects, model their body language.  Be discreet about it. Check your “energy” as well. People will know if you have a good energy or bad energy.

# 4 Breath

I shouldn’t have to put this on the list, but some businesspeople have breath that could kill a lion.  Don’t let that happen to you.  Before you meet with a prospect, have some gum, a breath mint, or breath spray.  If you just ate lunch, brush your teeth first.

# 5 Maintain Good Eye Contact

Maintain good eye contact with your prospects, or the person you are talking too.  If you are a man talking to a woman, don’t stare at her breasts.  Seriously.  Try to look the person in the eye without being creepy.  I can’t speak for you, but when I talk with a business person and they can’t make consistent eye contact with me, I feel like they are hiding something.

# 6 Be Nice

We live in a world where many people have become mean and rude.  I’m not sure why.  Be nice to people.  Treat people as nice as you would treat your mother.  Greet your prospect with a sir or ma’am.  Have some chivalry.  Open the door for them.  When a woman enters the room, if you are a dude, stand up.  Heck, whenever any client enters the room stand up, greet them, and shake their hand.  Also, address people by name whenever possible.  People love the sound of their name.

# 7 Ask Questions

Before you get down to business, make some small talk.  People love to talk about themselves.  Don’t make that mistake and talk about yourself.  Instead, ask your prospect or client some questions so they can talk about themselves.  Use the F.O.R.M. method, which stands for family, occupation, recreation, message.  In other words, ask people questions about these things to get them talking about themselves. And whatever you do, give them your undivided attention and listen!

BONUS TIP: Turn off your frickin’ cell phone!

I can’t speak for you, but when I’m doing business with someone and they look at their cell phone, or talk on it, I am more than turned off.  In most cases, I leave and do not do business with them.  Don’t be one of these folks.  Put away your dang cell phone.  Check your calls, texts, or emails AFTER you are done meeting with your prospect.   Trust me, it can wait!

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Final Thoughts

There you have it folks.

These are some of my best tips on how to make a good first impression with your business prospects.

I hope you will evaluate yourself in each one of these areas and look for ways to improve.

What are your thoughts?

What do you to do make a good first impression with your business prospects?

Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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Chuck Holmes
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