A first impression is a crucial one. In just 27 seconds, someone can form an opinion of you or your company. What kind of impression do you want to make? If you want to make a strong impression on clients, it’s important to present your business in the best possible light. This means that every aspect of your company should be well-thought-out and planned. It can be easy to overlook something seemingly insignificant like an email signature or website design, but these things could swing someone’s opinion of your company for better or worse. Here are seven ideas for making a good first impression on potential clients in order to win them over.

  1. When it comes to business, there is a lot of competition and one client could have dozens of choices for their company’s needs. In order to stand out from the crowd and make a strong first impression on potential clients, professionals should research them before meeting in person. It’s important that you have a solid understanding of what they need before sitting down for that all-important first meeting.
  2. Appropriate attire for a business meeting depends on the occasion and the industry. Executives should dress according to their company’s culture, but must also take into account who they are meeting with and what that client does. For example, executives from an accounting firm would not want to wear clothes too casual or revealing when going out in public because it could damage its reputation among prospective clients. However, another professional might be able to get away with this depending upon where he is going and whom he will meet. It all comes down to professionalism and respectability in order to make a strong first impression on potential clients.
  3. Punctuality can affect workplace morale, so clients won’t want to partner with businesses whose employees arrive late. Remember that there’s such a thing as being too early, too, as it suggests a lack of other responsibilities. Arriving 10 to 15 minutes early is ideal.
  4. Replying quickly to requests, emails, and calls demonstrates how you well prioritize the client – it shows that they are a top priority above everything else on your list of tasks. Setting aside time before meetings or scheduled phone conversations to review relevant materials will help you sound well prepared. Since you have already conducted research beforehand, this should only take ten minutes at most!
  5. When meeting with clients, remember to keep an open mind and listen carefully. A good impression comes from the client knowing that they’ve been heard and understood, so be sure to ask questions and take time to digest their answers before responding. It’s important to remember that not all questions need to be asked. Asking potential clients to repeat themselves often or asking the definition of common industry terms or concepts may have the opposite effect of what executives intend. Instead, ask for elaboration on specific details or about common concerns in the industry.
  6. Keep your arms open and lean forward just a bit while being engaged and welcoming. Maintaining eye contact, smiling, and nodding when the customer is talking are also examples of small but significant actions.
  7. Finally, professionals may increase the impression they make on potential clients by following up after their meeting. Follow-up messages demonstrate that the conversation had an impact and open the door for further communication.

Remember, 93% of people form their first impression based on how the speaker looks and acts. If you want to increase engagement, you’ll need to exhibit yourself in a way that conveys your value via language, appearance, and action. In these situations, your words have significance, but non-verbal communication has a far more significant meaning. That is why tone is just as essential when it comes to expressing yourself in business settings.