(Me dancing my I-just-booked-another-6-figure-deal dance.)
Whenever I meet with clients, I always make sure I’m dressed well and that I present myself well. There’s no point being in the business of corporate events and PR if I can’t even impress my client with my own personal branding, right?
I truly believe in the saying that “clothes make the man (or woman!)” and the better I look, the better I also feel, which helps me bring my A-game in every meeting.
Here are my meeting staples:
- Lovely eye-catching accessories. (These larger than life accessories are are from SM Accessories, BTW.) I like wearing one conversational piece to express my individuality, or go easy with simple diamond-and-gold jewelry. Nothing too flashy.
2. One designer thing. I usually go with designer bags or eyewear. Shoes, rarely. This is my version of power dressing.
3. I usually wear comfortable flat shoes or those with low heels because I drive and sometimes I cannot forecast how much walking I will have to do. My current faves are my low-heeled ankle boots.
Now, these examples are just fashion picks, but of course, I also pay attention to my grooming, make sure my skin, nails and hair look good, and wear light makeup. Just enough to look vibrant and still business-appropriate.
Everyone has their own style, and for your own fashion picks, you can experiment and just retain what is most comfy to you! If you belong to the “creative” industry, you can even go crazy, and your clients will love you for it. Don’t get sucked into obsessing about these though, because winning on the first impression takes a lot more than merely paying attention on how you look.
Other tips to give a great first impression in your first-contact consultation with a client:
- Always come at least 15 minutes early. Show your client that you give an actual fuck about the project and that you respect their time.
- Pick a place with good lighting, good food/ drinks (if you’re not meeting in an office), and a place where you can hear each other properly.
- Smile and give a firm handshake. I can’t emphasize this more, because these things are the first things that will elicit actual emotions from your prospect.
- Come prepared. If you have a proposal, an action plan, a production deck, your company profile, a pitch, it’s best to prepare all the ammo you need so you can have the upper hand in the negotiations. It is also wise to research about what kind of business your prospect does, their target market, and, any active campaigns, what objectives they might have.
- Listen, listen, listen. You are there to know what your clients needs and wants are, and how you can serve them best. Ask them 5-8 questions and make sure you FULLY UNDERSTAND what their expectations are (so you can exceed them). If possible, record the conversation (but ask their permission).
- When closing, let them know how long it will take you to reach out to them to send a proposal or a follow-up. Whether it’s another meeting, a contract draft, or a presentation, set some post-meeting expectations so they keep you on top of their heads.
I’ve been going to meetings for more than a decade, and these are my best tips in winning that first impression. You won’t close everyone — closing is an entirely different skill altogether — but next week, I will share tips on how to make closing easier for you, and how to cruise through a negotiation. 🙂 See you back here!
If you’ve found good value in this post, don’t hesitate to share it. You could be helping a buddy make those little positive adjustments in their career and contribute to their success. And isn’t that feeling amazing?
To your success,