First impressions take only a few seconds to form, are long lasting and are very hard to change. They are based on likeability which is the gateway to building emotional connections.
Sales are driven by emotions; therefore, it stands to reason that if a prospective client likes you, they will be more open to answering questions and engaging in conversation about their situation and their needs. Ultimately, the more likeable you are, the more likely you are to close the sale.
Here are 10 simple, yet effective ways to make an amazing first impression:
- Self-reflect. It’s important to pay attention to how you’re feeling before you enter the room. Are you feeling nervous and worried, or confident and relaxed? It’s a good idea that you’re in a positive frame of mind. If you need to calm yourself down a little, some breathing exercises before your meeting might just help you get there!
- Be on time. This is a big one – always, always be on time and make sure your meetings run to schedule. If you make a point to do this, your clients will see that you value their time and you will build a reputation as a reliable person.
- Smile. This is one of the best and easiest ways to make a great first impression. People are naturally attracted to someone who is smiling and it just generally creates a good all-round feeling!
- Be confident. Confidence is driven by many things including knowledge, self-image, attitude and health. By being confident your clients are more likely to trust that you believe in what you are selling them and are knowledgeable enough to understand what they need. Although it’s important to understand the difference between confidence and arrogance, and it pays to be self-aware so that you can have just the right amount of confidence to win them over.
- Maintain eye contact. Making and maintaining eye contact once you enter the room, shake hands and introduce yourself, makes a great first impression. If you don’t do this your clients may think you have something to hide, or may even perceive you as being rude. No need to make it awkward by staring though! If you’re holding their gaze longer than 3 seconds at a time it can be come across as staring.
- Speak clearly. There is little point introducing yourself and offering up an effective sales pitch if your clients can’t understand what you’re saying. Being easily understood is critical in making a great first impression. It’s important for your words to be enunciated well and spoken with enough volume.
- Be engaging and engage. Just because you know every detail about what you’re selling, doesn’t mean your client needs to know about it. Although you may think you are impressing them, it can become overbearing. What you want to do is create conversations that stick in their mind after the meeting is over. It’s key to listen to what they have to say. We all love talking about ourselves, our families, hobbies and pets. Make your questions are open ended so you can obtain some valuable information and connect with them on an emotional level.
- Be aware of your body language. Your body language should show a client you are confident and comfortable. Before a meeting sit up straight, walk with your chest high and take long strides. It may not be what you would usually do, but doing these things can improve your confidence. It may also help to video yourself to see how you look to others. This way you can improve on what’s needed to use your body language effectively.
- Look smart. Your appearance is important. Unfortunately, humans tend to judge one another on appearance before any kind of interaction happens, so it’s a good idea that it’s fitting for the occasion. Clean clothes, neat hair and general self-pride generally tells your client that you are a confident and organised person.
- Follow up. Just because the meeting is over doesn’t mean that you’re done yet! You need to make your amazing first impression stick. You can do this by following up a short time after your meeting by sending through any necessary information such as documents or next steps. It can also be a simple note or a phone call expressing your appreciation for their time and perhaps recapping the conversation that you had. This will show your client that you don’t take the time they took out of their day to meet with you for granted and that you actually listened to what they had to say.
Making lasting first impressions and connections with your clients is essential, and lays a solid foundation for furthering your relationships with them. That’s why it’s important to keep practicing the tips outlined above, so that you stand out from the competition and make the most positive and memorable impression possible!
Contact the Dynamo Selling team to find out about our sales training packages.