The first meeting with a client is always a lot of pressure. First impressions are pretty important after all. So how do you make that good first impression? Here are a few tips to help out.
Charm Them, Don’t Manipulate Them
Remember that when you go into this meeting you aren’t trying to manipulate the person into liking you. You’re not P. Diddy in Get Him To The Greek. Instead you want to charm the person with genuine charisma so that they like you and want to work with you.
Forget the manipulative sales tactics you may have been taught and in this first meeting just focus on being a genuine human being and building rapport. Maybe even try a little humor.
Do Your Homework
Don’t show up to your meeting clueless. Do some research on your prospect before you ever show up. When you are prepared and have knowledge about the prospect and their situation it signals that you are a professional and increases their trust in you.
Assess The Situation
When you walk into the room, don’t just dive in head first. Instead take a step back and assess the situation.
Does their body language tell you anything?
Is their attire a signal of anything?
What kind of mood do they seem in?
Assess the situation and adapt your approach accordingly.
The small act of a smile can go a long way. Don’t walk in and run through the meeting with a serious or grouchy face. Instead smile and be confident. This subconsciously shows to the prospect that you are not a threat and that you enjoy your time with them.
But be cautious because a forced or fake smile can be even worse than not smiling at all. Don’t smile just to smile. Smile because you are genuinely happy and excited to be talking with this prospect.
Open Up With A Non-Business Related Question
No one likes to hear you ramble so instead of just diving straight into your pitch, open it up with a question. Keep it light and personal if you want. Talk about the weather, travel, kids or anything that is easy to relate on. This simple short non-business related conversation keeps things casual and builds trust before you dive into the serious sales talk.
Don’t Forget Your Customer’s Name!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is forgetting the name of your prospect. Often this can be a challenge especially if there are multiple people in the room. Try a simple trick of getting everyone’s name and then repeating it back to them the second you hear it. Then try to work it into conversation when you address them.
This helps you remember their name and it also builds rapport. People love when they hear their own name. Don’t overuse it but slip their name into conversation when it fits.
Make Your Prospect Feel Understood
Listen to the prospects needs and emphasize with them. Make them feel as if they have been understood and repeat back their pain points to them from time to time. When you repeat back what they are telling you, it ensures them that you have been listening and understand their needs.
Most Importantly, Be Yourself
Most of all, just be yourself. If you’re into flying drones, bring it up! Whatever your passions are both for work and fun, bring them out. Don’t try to lie, manipulate or trick them into buying from you. In this first meeting you just want to build rapport and get them to like you.
Also published on Medium.