First impressions count, especially in business. But how can you make sure that you make the best first impression possible when attending a business meeting, and land that great new client contract? Here are some tips to help you.
Arrive on time
It goes without saying that you should not arrive too late for a client meeting – but on the other hand, it’s not advisable to arrive too early, either. Arriving a few minutes early is ideal – but arriving too early and having to sit and wait can put unwanted pressure on your meeting partner when they might still be preparing for the discussion.
If you do arrive too early, hold tight in your car and have a last minute check of your meeting notes, or take a walk around the block and focus your thoughts on landing the deal!
A dark, formal business suit is appropriate attire for a business meeting; men should choose a plain or pin-striped shirt with a matching tie. Women should opt for a suit or tailored trousers with a crease, matched with a tailored blouse. You should make sure that your appearance is clean and neat – shoes polished, hair tidy, and clothing pressed.
Your appearance also extends to the vehicle that you drive. Consider renting a smart business vehicle to give you a professional edge when arriving at your meeting venue. Rental companies like Mayday Vehicle Rentals offer a range of business cars that are sure to impress and what’s more, they offer very flexible rental terms too.
Do your research
You should conduct advance research into the company that you’re visiting, by thoroughly reviewing their website and familiarising yourself with their recent achievements, key projects, company ethos, and the business’s latest news.
It might sound a little creepy but if you know the name of the individual you’re meeting with, you could even look them up on social media! Seeing a photo of the person you’re going to meet, and even finding out about their interests and personality, can help you to prepare for meeting them in person.
Don’t be scared of small talk
Whilst your meeting is obviously for discussing business matters, you shouldn’t shy away from small talk when you first meet your contact. Take a couple of minutes to ask your meeting partner about themselves and get to know them a little; this breaks the ice and helps you both to relate on a human level, which will then make it easier and more comfortable to discuss weightier business matters.
The value of an agenda
Drawing up an agenda prior to your meeting, and letting your client know what you intend to cover, is an excellent way of showing them that you’ve prepared well for the meeting and that you can be trusted to keep things well under control. An agenda also helps you to retain focus during the meeting, ensuring that you cover what needs to be discussed and giving you a professional and confident edge.