You only get one shot to make a great first impression, particularly in the business world. Don’t miss your opportunity to start a productive, and profitable, relationship with a business colleague or a client.
To make your best first impression in just 60 seconds follow these tips from AllBusiness.com:
- Business image is important. The way you greet clients to your style of dress reflects on you. Take time to consider the image you are portraying. How do you greet clients? What does your stationary say about you? How is your office decorated? Where do you take a client for a business lunch or cocktails?
- Assess yourself and analyze your image. Do you dress according to the standards of your industry? Are your clothes professional? Is your hair neat? What about your car? Are you in a field where you’re likely to be judged by what you drive? A realtor wouldn’t want to ferry clients around in a battered Ford pickup with torn seats and a broken muffler, but a landscape artist could drive it to a work site and nobody would bat an eye.
- Marketing materials need to reflect your image. Put marketing materials on the front lines of your image-building efforts because they often serve as your prospects’ first introduction to you. Use high-quality paper, but also consider using gold or silver embossing on your letterhead or business cards, Treat everything you do as gold, and your clients will, too.
- Project a professional image. Have someone proofread every piece of written material before it leaves your office. This means correspondence, proposals and marketing pieces. Always be pleasant and helpful when answering the phone. People like to do business with happy, positive people.
- Position yourself for success. Give referrals when you can’t handle a job; people will respect your honesty and consideration. Offer a high quality of service and/or product. Do the job you promised and don’t let your customer down. Never disparage the competition. It doesn’t look good and it could backfire. When a client or colleague runs into a snag, assist them; you may need them to refer the favor in the future.