Meeting New Business Contacts? Make a Good First Impression!

Create a good first impression to help you grow your business.

People cannot help but make fast judgments. In fact, we often form impressions and draw trait inferences from the appearance of other people within split seconds (about 100 milliseconds) after meeting them. And these first impressions are very powerful since they usually do last, and tend to stick with you forever.

Recognizing the power of first impressions, you need to make sure you create a good one when meeting potential customers, investors and business contacts. How do you do it? Here are some tips that can help you achieve your goal.

How to Make a Good First Impression

  • Look professional. Try to look polished and professional at all times. Keep in mind that your appearance is the first thing people see so put some careful thought on how you dress and present yourself to your new business contacts.
  • Set your intention. When attending events, you need to think about the image you want to project, the kind of people you want to meet, and the type of interactions you want to have. Focusing your energy on these things can help you create a good impression.
  • Do your homework. If you will be meeting a new business contact, make sure you know who you will be talking with. You should at least be aware of their background, skills and expertise, and whether you share anything in common.
  • Focus on building relationships. Instead of trying to sell something, you should focus on building relationships. Display an honest interest in the other person and listen to what he or she has to say. If you want to earn their trust, let them talk first. Fight the urge to flaunt your expertise and accomplishments. It can surely help you achieve what you have set to accomplish.
  • Establish eye contact. According to a report published in the British Psychological Society Research Digest blog, maintaining eye contact can help you come across as sincere and may even make you look smarter. However, don’t overdo it or people may think that you are weird.
  • Don’t be afraid to show your weaknesses. While some people think that trying to look perfect can help you create a good first impression, research reveals that showing your flaws and vulnerabilities can also work to your advantage. Showing that you are less than perfect can be endearing and empowering at the same time.
  • Be confident. Know your subject matter. It can make you feel more confident.