First Impression is extremely important, especially if you are in business. It takes only seconds for a stranger to decide whether you can be trusted or you are the right person they are meeting. You will gain respect if you managed to project yourself ‘right’ at first.
There are a few things that we have to do or prepare ourselves in order to give a very good First Impression to people when we meet them for business purposes. Even if you are meeting someone as friends, First Impression is important too because that would determine whether that person will continue to connect with you in the future.
Other than to gain respect, we have to influence the person that we are meeting. We have to be very confident with what we say; while maintaining our friendliness.
Here are some quick tips that you can take control of your First Impression:-
1 – Smile
Remember to show your biggest smile and introduce yourself politely (e.g. “My name is Candy, how are you today?” or “Nice to meet you.”)
2 – Allow the other person to speak
Stay humble and low profile and let the other person start the conversation and you may ask several questions to keep the conversation going. Do not be aggressive, go into the other person’s world first. If you sound pushy or rushing; it will turn him/her off!
3 – Proper Body Language
Be very conscious of your body language, your gesture, facial expression and tonality of your voice. Be positive and maintain eye contract with smile at all times.
4 – Keep your gadgets away
We are very used to checking our phone messages and emails. Turn off notifications and put your mobile phone on silent mode. Do not try to read or reply to any messages. In the event that you are waiting for an important call or message; notify the other person in advance that you will have to excuse yourself for a few minutes when the phone rings (not recommended but sometimes we just have to deal with it).
5 – Be an active Listener
Pay attention to what’s said, do not assume. Provide proper feedback and do not talk unnecessarily. Make notes if required, however, do not jump into conclusions of what the other person wants to say. Offer solutions or advise at the end, however, allow yourself to digest the issues (because this is your first time meeting that person; you don’t know him/her too well).
6 – Be Prepared
Normally, we will know who we will be meeting; just find out more about that person or the company that person is representing. Learn more about the company and it will be great if you get to know their challenges in advance. You can prepare some solutions or insights to share with that person to gain credibility and initiative.
7 – Stay humble and polite
Some people are very approachable and friendly. We should not take advantage of these qualities; we should maintain our professionalism, stay humble and polite. Basic manners are essential and do not set rigid ‘intentions’ or high ‘expectations’ from the first meeting. Nurture the other person, he/she will evaluate you too.
I hope that these tips are useful for everyone to use immediately.