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The power of the first impression (part 2)

In the previous article, I wrote about how preparation is key for a good impression, but that´s just half of it.

The other 50% is the way you look and the way you communicate.

There are a lot of articles on what to wear for a business meeting. From completely formal to a more business casual attire. Every industry is different and the most important thing to remember is: aim to not under or overdress. The main idea is to make your customer comfortable and to look professional at the meeting.

The other aspect is communication and it´s where we´ll focus in this article.

Communication is not just about being polite or accommodating. It´s a well-researched science by many authors or models (DISC profile, Neuro-linguistic programming, etc.).

Here are some tips to improve communication:

  1. In the first few minutes, you´ll get an idea of how your customer communicates. This is very important information. If you can reflect (not mimic) their style, they´ll be more open to listening to what you have to say. Reflecting your customer´s style of communication relies on just a few aspects: Do they speak slow or fast? Does he(she) focus on people or their business goals? Is he(she) always pressed for time?. Once you have this information you can for example make more pauses to give them time to speak ( if they tend to take their time with their answers).
  2. Reflect your customer´s verbal communication but also their nonverbal communication. Watch for little hints: if they seat leaning back, try to do the same. If they use their hands a lot when they speak try to do it yourself. Only be cautious: try to do your own version and not do it exactly like them (they could think you are mocking them).
  3. Remember: it´s a fluid situation that could change any minute: if they lose interest or if they really are pressed for time, be prepared to do a condensed version of your visit with a closer follow — up meeting.

Being mindful of your customer and really try to make them comfortable can go a long way not only for that particular sales call but for a long-term business relationship that will be more productive in the long run.

Have you faced these communication barriers before? What do you think about these tips? Please comment below.