Happy Tuesday folks! We hope you’re rocking the heck out of your work week. In a world full of filters and fronting, I think we can all agree that you only get one chance at a first impression. People form their opinions within seconds of meeting a person and it’s imperative that you put your best foot forward from the very beginning. Whether you’re prepping for a meeting with a possible client or an interview for that dream job, here’s what you need to do to rock a killer first impression.
1. Come Prepared
What’s that saying about preparation being half the victory? Well, it’s a 100% correct. The better prepared you are, the more likely your chances of closing the deal. Think about it for a second- wouldn’t you want to book someone who was confident about their craft and knew just what the hell they were talking about? With that in mind, it’s important to know what it is you’re getting yourself into.
- – Start with research! Take a quick harmless look into the person you are meeting with (remember there’s a clear line between research and criminal stalking).
- “Mo’ Knowledge, Mo’ Bookings!” Familiarize yourself, if necessary, with the specifics of the work required of you. This way you’re prepared for any curveball questions.
- You should also remember to prepare yourself for the typical questions people ask when getting to know each other, like “tell me a little about yourself” and “what makes you different from the other person who does this”. Like I said, preparation instills confidence.
2. Dress up or Dress Down
Your outfit sets the tone for your meeting before you even open your mouth, so this is one point that requires extra attention. You don’t want to be SO buttoned up that you make the other person feel under dressed, or make yourself seem un-relatable. On the other hand, this is not the time to rock those lulu lemons. It’s also important to consider your meeting location when planning your outfit. Is it at a white tablecloth restaurant or the local coffee shop? Always keep in mind that regardless of the setting, this is a business meeting, so assemble your look accordingly.
3. Be Yourself
Hey, you can only pretend for so long right? The worst thing you want is to be stuck with something that clashes with your personality and causes you to fail. Let your personality shine through. People connect with authenticity and you’re more likely to book your ideal client when they feel like you “get them”. Don’t waste your time pretending to be someone else, you’re probably cooler anyway.
4. Smile, Dammit!
We get it, you want to be well spoken and taken seriously, as you should. But at the end of the day, people end up hiring the person they actually like and want to be around. So, lighten up, tell a joke, relax your shoulders and go with the flow. Positive energy is contagious, and the stress of wedding planning can be really overwhelming. If you give off the vibe that you are going to be a calm and friendly influence throughout the whole process, odds are they will want to keep you around.
5. Pay Attention and Actually Listen
We’ve all done this – pretend to nod our head in understanding when inside we’re scrambling to think of the next thing to say or trying to remember if we left the lights on at home. Don’t do it! Pay attention and actually listen. The first meeting should be all about getting a feel for the other person and downloading their interests and plans. Remember that no two personalities are the same, it may take some warming up (see: smile, dammit!) before you start hearing the REAL vision. So, don’t dive right into the Q&A. Get to know the client and fully listen to each and every idea, worry and complaint before you formulate your plan.
6. Ask the Right Questions
Like with the point above, it’s super important that you ask the right questions. Of course you’ve come prepared with points to touch on, but it’s extremely important that you gauge the client and actually listen to what they’re saying so your questions actually make sense. There’s nothing more off-putting than someone asking a random unrelated question in response to a valid thought or concern.
7. Follow Up
This to me, is one of the most important steps in knocking things out the park. If you’re like me and get overwhelmed with the whole wooing process of a client meeting, then you’ll feel MUCH more comfortable with sending a sweet “it was nice to meet you” follow up, whether it’s through email or a phone call. In this follow-up you can include any key points you forgot to mention during your meeting and re-emphasize the ones you did bring up. Remind them of how awesome you are and why it would be the best decision of their lives to book you. This simple gesture can seal the deal and turn a maybe into a definitely.
Whatever you choose to do, remember to relax, smile and focus on the client’s needs. You’re as amazing as you think you are.