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First impressions count a lot in business. They play a major role in how potential clients perceive your business and are essential to gaining new customers, talent and future business opportunities. It takes only seven seconds for someone to make a first impression, which is a terrifyingly short amount of time to really gauge someone’s character.
These are made through analysing everything from outward physical appearances and confidence to vocal inflections and the things we say. Leveraging first impressions incorrectly can backfire massively since we tend to get attached to our initial impressions of others.
The old saying goes that you never get a second chance at a good first impression so here is everything you need to know about crafting strong business relationships from initial encounters with clients to networking events with other companies.
How to Craft a Good First Impression in Business?
Communicating confidently and succinctly is key to establishing credibility and building rapport so mastering the art of introduction is important. Eye contact is a powerful tool, used to convey respect, demonstrate your interest in others and make your own contributions more impactful. Paired with a strong handshake, this signals you are trustworthy and confident.
Your physical appearance is the first thing that others notice about you so presenting yourself appropriately matters. You want your outfit and demeanour to radiate competence and approachability so your clothing should match the occasion. The same applies to your hair and facial hair.
Driving a nice car when travelling to a client is another important cue of the success and professionalism of your business. This can be a really nice touch but be sure to find the right day insurance for your cars before the day of travel.
Authenticity and Confidence
It’s fine to be confident about your services and products, however, you don’t want to make the mistake of talking too much about yourselves. Authenticity will be more memorable to your client and help you to stand out from other businesses. You can demonstrate this by connecting on a human level and look for opportunities to genuine connect with others.
It’s important to do some research beforehand so you can understand the context and environment you will be meeting in. This will help you to avoid common cultural pitfalls or internalised biases that can be detrimental to business development and expansion.
Understanding and respecting cultural nuances in business interactions is essential for building cross-cultural competence across a variety of global business environments. There is nothing more off-putting than a business meeting with someone who hasn’t done their due diligence.