Building a business network and creating partnerships that are mutually beneficial is a long process. However, a lot depends on that first impression. In some situations, it can make or break the whole business opportunity. And even if you have the knowledge and skills you still need to obey some essential behavioral rules that will help you present yourself in the right way. So here to help are some great tips on how you can make a great impression when meeting potential business partners for the first time.
Don’t be tardy
This has to be the most important thing when you are preparing for a business meeting. Having someone wait for you is both irresponsible and rude. So not only should you set off on time, you also need to consider the traffic density on that day as well as parking options. The best case scenario is to opt for a reliable company like Avis for car hire and that way ensure that you will be there on time without additional stress. By being on time, and even a few minutes early you will show off your punctuality as well as respect for other people’s time. This is a definite must when it comes to making a great impression.
Dress to impress
In the business world, you can definitely throw the expression -clothes don’t make a man- out of the window. It is indeed important how you dress. Of course, this depends on who you are meeting, if it is a high-end corporate business then an expensive suit and great shoes are a must. Make sure it is freshly pressed and looking sharp. It will get noticed, especially if you opt for a more expensive brand. On the other hand, that look might be off-putting if you are meeting millennials at a startup, in that case, a more casual attire should be considered. Startups have far more relaxed environments and young entrepreneurs prefer to work with people who are more like them, and this is where clothes play a big role.
Have all the data on hand
Being well prepared is essential if you want your first business meeting to go well. You don’t need to memorize all the information, just have it on your laptop and prepare everything in advance so that you can access it swiftly. It can be seen as unprofessional if you take a lot of time to find and explain the data relevant for that meeting. This is why preparation is so important, you might also consider creating a summary containing the main bullet points that you want to go over during the business meeting. That way there is less chance to go off track, and you will ensure that all the issues that are relevant for you are covered.
Mind your manners
How you behave throughout the meeting can have a large impact on how successful the meeting will be and how your potential future business partners will perceive you. First and foremost greet everyone in the room and introduce yourself, don’t assume that they already know who you are. Don’t forget to mute your phone, it is a sign of respect, and it shows that you value their time and that you are not willing to waste it on other business issues. Make sure that you listen carefully, and try not to interrupt other people, but rather wait for your turn to speak. It is important that the conversation doesn’t end up being one-sided but rather a joint effort. And even if there are certain things you don’t agree with make relevant arguments to explain your point of view without making a big thing about it. Diplomacy and good listening skills can get you far in a business meeting.
Make a good last impression
So you have done everything by the book so to say, or rather according to the above-written paragraphs. But the way you end a business meeting is just as relevant as how you start it. If everything goes well, you want to initiate scheduling the next one and discussing briefly what it might be about. You should also discuss if there is a need for a follow-up phone call or exchange of data. Demonstrating the desire to continue building a relationship along with the willingness to take the first step is essential for ensuring that your first business meeting is a successful one, and that you have made a great impression.
So as you can see from this article, there are a lot of aspects that go into having a fruitful first business meeting and building a solid work relationship. A lot of it depends on you personally, so it is best to do everything in your power to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as it possibly can.