They say the first impression starts within 7 to 17 seconds from the first time you meet a person. If you are trying to close a deal with a new client, you should be able to make a good impression as soon as you can because people start judging others 1/10 of a second after meeting.
In other words, a blink of an eye could change everything.
Don’t give up easily. You can always slay that first meeting blues with the help of these tips:
Know Your Client first.
There is beauty on the Internet, so make sure you maximize it especially if you are meeting someone for the first time.
Before you head to a meeting, research about your potential client first and find out the industry s/he belongs to. There is no need to dig deeper into the Facebook or Instagram account, but just a general idea of the person and/or business and then ask clarifying questions during the meeting itself.
Consequently, know the company your client is working for. This will give you a better idea about your client as well, which you can utilize during the talk.
Arrive On Time.
The saying, “Better late than never” is not applicable if you are meeting clients for the first time. It sends a signal that you don’t value their time – something that money cannot buy.
As much as possible, arrive at the agreed venue at least 15 minutes early. This will help you relax and ease any tension and first-time jitters.
Dress To Impress.
You might say clothes are just something you wear and nothing more. That’s true. If you are after making a good first impression on new clients, then you need to make sure that your clothes are ready for battle. Believe it or not, it could make or break your meeting and going there as if you just got out of bed will make your new clients feel they are not worthy of your time.
Therefore, be presentable. Wear nice, decent clothes and avoid wearing loud accessories or perfume that could irritate one’s nose. Go for a clean and simple outfit from head to toe. You don’t want to be remembered as someone with a crazy-looking hat, do you?
You need to know as much as you can about your client so you can offer your services more effectively. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask questions and clarifications. If there is something you cannot understand, be honest about it. This will make your work easier because you know what your clients’ expectations. At the same time, make sure you listen carefully and take notes so you won’t forget. Focus on the client itself and casually inject similar experiences or projects that you had to give an idea of what you can do.
Another tip: call your client by name. It may not seem much, but it shows that you pay attention to the tiniest things and make sure you remember it.
Check The Body Language.
One’s words may not always reflect what he truly means. Your client may smile and agree with what you say, but you see that he constantly fidgets or looks away every time you say something.
Remember that body language is everything, so pay attention to it.
Consequently, do your part. Sit straight, face your client, smile, use hand gestures when talking, and make as much eye contact as you can. Avoid crossing your arms, slouching, fidgeting, or sitting too casually. Constantly checking on your phone is also a big no-no because it signifies that either you are bored or you need to be somewhere more important.
If you notice that your client is doing the same, try to lighten the mood by cracking a joke or deviating the conversation into a less stressful topic. You would be able to come up with an agreed output if you two are both relaxed.
Leave Your “Remembrance.”
The meeting might not be the last, so make sure that before you part ways, you give something that will make it easier for clients to reach out to you. Call it old school, but there’s something about giving a business card that contains your contact information. Always have several in hand because your client might ask for extra so they can give it to their friends.
Don’t worry. There are lots of helpful tools in creating elegant photography business cards. Check them first and maximize them.
One Word: Relax.
This sounds easier said than done, but one of the simplest yet most effective ways to create a good impression is to just relax. Don’t let stress or butterflies in your stomach get in the way and mess up your meeting. Keep calm and breathe.
This is why it is important to be early. It eases any tension you feel in your body and makes you look and feel more comfortable. Relax. You’re not in a show and there is no camera waiting for you. Just be yourself and you will be fine.