Outside the office…
When meeting a new business contact for the first time, making the right impression is imperative to ensure you maximise the chance of achieving your meeting objective smoothly and they leave the meeting with a positive lasting impression of you and your business. According to science, you make your first impression within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, often before you’ve even begun to have a conversation. Therefore, these tips are essential building blocks to the start of any successful business meeting.
Smiling is one of the very first impressions you give someone and one of the best ways to put a new business contact at ease from the outset. It is the easiest and simplest way to associate your brand with positivity and gives an impression of confidence.
MAKE EYE CONTACT
Looking someone in the eye conveys that you are confident and interested in what they have to say. In Western countries eye contact shows respect to the person you’re meeting with. It also conveys a sense of interest and engagement in a conversation.
A GOOD HANDSHAKE
A good, firm handshake can indicate confidence and trustworthiness in a person. Conversely, a ‘vice like grip’ can be seen as intimidating, and a limp ‘wet fish’ handshake suggests a lack of confidence. Mirror body language Research shows that people who experience the same emotions are likely to experience mutual trust, connection and understanding.
MIRROR BODY LANGUAGE
This a non-verbal way of saying “we have something in common” When people say that someone gives off good energy, they’re describing mirroring and other synchronous behaviors they are not consciously aware of. Now, we’re not suggesting you copy your prospect verbatim, because that would just be weird! But subtleties in mirroring behavior, e.g. leaning into a conversation or leaning back at a similar time, taking a sip of your drink at a similar time, or holding your posture in a similar manner can achieve that sense of mutual trust.
Research suggests that people who speak slowly and calmly are more likely to be taken seriously.
THE RIGHT KIT
Turning up to a meeting without a pen or notepad demonstrates a lack of focus, forgetfulness and the meeting is not a priority. Likewise, turning up with a dog-eared notepad and leaky biro can suggest a sloppy attitude to work – most certainly not the impression you want to give new business contacts. Ensure you’re always prepared and making the best impression at meetings with our range of professional notepads and pens, suitable for all your business needs.
in the office…
When you invite someone to your business premises for the first time, you are inviting them to make a judgement on your business culture and brand. You want to ensure the experience they receive is reflective of the core values of your brand. Portraying an efficient, professional and slick operation could contribute to a successful outcome of your meeting and ensures that person leaves with a positive lasting impression.
Ensure they have directions and parking instructions in advance of the meeting and advise of any arrival instructions they may need once they arrive on site.
A manned reception desk with a smile and structured signing in process portrays a professional and compliant approach to business.
Your reception area should be clean, clutter and dust free. The design should be a style that is reflective of your business. Your visitor may need to wait several minutes in this space (especially if they’re early!) Therefore, the space should be quiet and calm with business collateral on show to reflect who you are and what you do.
Your meeting room should be clean and modern, designed in a style that reflects your business. Ensure there is plenty of natural light, working blinds and that all furniture maximises the available space. All technology should be in full working order, with no trailing cables and external noise should be kept to a minimum throughout the meeting.
If you offer refreshments during your meeting (which most companies do,) It’s important the quality of products you use is reflective of your brand. Good quality tea and coffee, fresh milk and biscuits, clean branded mugs, clean glasses, bottled water and soft drinks can all contribute to a positive perception of your business.