Meeting someone for the first time, whether going on a blind date or a business sales call, can be a anxious endeavor. One way to minimize the nervousness is to prepare for the event in advance in order to present your best persona. Here are some common sense tips to making your meeting a success.
Clothes do matter
Even in a dating scenario, you need not be textbook beautiful to impress your new friend. The way you greet the person, with warmth and a winning smile will help alleviate tension, while giving the impression that you are impressed with him or her.
Grooming should always be impeccable down to the heels on your shoes. Be sure your nails and hair are clean and dress with good taste and decorum. Avoid overpowering the other person with strong perfume or cologne. This can be a real problem for people who are sensitive or allergic to certain smells. The best bet is to smell like soap or a lightly scented moisturizer.
Dress appropriately for the meeting and setting. While an interview requires you to wear a suit or dress, a casual meeting can include casual attire. That being said, dressing up for a first date shows you care about your appearance and want to make a good impression.
Attitude is everything
Think about the people you know who always greet you with a warm smile and seem to be genuinely happy to see you. Being welcoming and approachable during any kind of meeting goes a long way toward creating a sense of camaraderie.
Reach out your open hand for a solid handshake, not a limp wristed, soggy touch. If you tend toward sweaty palms, discreetly wipe your hand on your sleeve or pant leg before offering it to the person. A failure to offer you hand in a business meeting is often viewed with suspicion and question.
Walk the talk
Developing some fluidity in expressing yourself through everyday conversation, i.e. small talk, is more important than you realize, particularly in a sales setting. You need to put the other person at ease and take responsibility for keeping the conversation flowing freely. After a few minutes, most people relax enough to respond in kind.
Mind your manners
Simple things like holding the door open for the other person, saying please and thank you at the appropriate times and other common courtesies should never be ignored. Think about those people you admire for their charm and calm self-assurance and you will do well to mimic their behavior.
When in a sales setting, be prepared with a brief synopsis of your points, whether selling yourself as a job candidate or advancing a new product line. Stay concise, encourage questions and feedback and you may well be on your way to a successful meeting.