Career Corner: A Monthly Executive Search Firm News Article Series.
The First 60 Seconds: Making a Great Impression
November 1st, 2011
Most people only get one shot to make a lasting impression. This is even more the case in the business world. It is imperative not to miss your opportunity to start a productive, profitable, and lasting relationship with a business colleague or client. Just like the first thirty seconds or less for an elevator pitch, the first sixty seconds of getting to know someone can make it or break it for some people. To make your best impression in just sixty seconds, follow these tips from AllBusiness.com:
Having a business image is important.
From the way people greet their clients to their style of dress, everything is a reflection of your attributes. It is imperative to take time to consider the image you are portraying. Greet clients appropriately. How is your office decorated? Where do you take a client for a business lunch or cocktails?
Assess yourself and analyze your image.
It is important to dress according to the standards of your industry. Make sure your clothes are professional and you are groomed accordingly. Although it may seem shallow, what about your car? If you are in a field where you are likely to be judged by what you drive, it is critical to realize this. For instance, a realtor would not want to by ferrying around their clients in a battered pickup with ripped seats and a broken muffler, but a landscape artist could drive it to a work site and nobody would even notice.
Marketing materials need to reflect your image or the image you want to portray to others.
Put marketing materials on the front lines of your image-building efforts because they can later serve as your prospects’ first introduction to you. Use high-quality paper, but also consider using materials that will highlight your business card (e.g. using gold or silver embossing on your letterhead).
It is also imperative to project a professional image.
Have someone proofread every piece of written material before it leaves your desk. This includes correspondence, proposals, and marketing pieces. Always be pleasant and helpful when answering the phone. People like doing business with happy, positive people.
Position yourself for success.
It helps to give referrals when you cannot handle a job; people respect this and appreciate the honesty and consideration. Offer a high quality service and/or product. It is important to do the job that you promised. It is key to never disparage the competition. It does not look good and it could backfire. When a client or colleague runs into a snag, assist them as best as you can; you may need them to return the favor in the future.