You’ll want to make a positive impression in all aspects of your business, but there are some meetings that are extra important for any business collaboration. For instance, when you’re meeting with a potential business partner. This could be with someone who may invest in your business, a partnership, or a supplier; whatever it is, it could have a big impact on the overall future success of your business.
And you know what they say about first impressions: you only get one opportunity to make it good! In this post, we’ll look at some tried-and-tested methods for ensuring that, by the end of the meeting, the person you’re trying to win over is highly impressed with what they’ve seen and heard.
The main focus will be on ensuring that your potential partner has a good experience when they meet you face-to-face. However, it’s also important to think about their interaction with you before they travel to you. People value clarity and communication, so do your best to ensure that you’re communicating well beforehand. Your potential partner should have a clear idea of what to expect, when and where they need to be, and anything else. It’s also recommended to let them know that they can always reach out to you if they have any questions or doubts.
Meet at a Quality Site
You’re unlikely to make a positive impression if you’re meeting at a McDonald’s restaurant. Think about the site for the meeting; is it a venue that would impress you? Does it show your brand in a positive light?
You may decide to meet at your office if you have one, but you don’t necessarily need to. If it’s a first meeting, then you may meet in a top-quality restaurant. If you do decide to meet at your premises, then be sure to invest in cleaning and organization beforehand; a chaotic workspace will make an impression, but not the kind that you’re hoping to make!
You don’t necessarily need to arrange transportation for your visitors. But you’ll be well on your way towards making a positive impression if you do. People don’t mind having to get to a location on their own, but they’d rather not have to deal with it if they have the option. By organizing corporate transportation for your visitor, you’ll be removing one of their major challenges and helping to ensure that the meeting gets off to a great start. It’s a small touch that can make a difference in how they view your business.
Research Their Story
You’ll have your own goals and objectives for the meeting. But it’s important to remember that your visitor will also have their own objectives, too, so it’s a good idea to read up on who they are, their background, where they’re trying to go, and so forth. Before your meeting for a business collaboration, be sure to conduct as much research as possible. You should find a wealth of information on their website. Make a note of it, and let what you find guide your interaction with your visitor. They’ll be impressed if you can pull out a nugget of deeply buried information that shows you’ve really looked into who they are.
Know Your Stuff
Knowing their story will give you bonus points in any business collaboration. But it’s also important that you fully understand your own information, too. That is, you should be fully prepared for the meeting, have all the relevant information about your business that you’ll need, have an objective for the meeting, and so forth. They’ll want to see that you’ve taken the time to put together a comprehensive proposal. As always, if you’ve failed to prepare, then you should prepare to fail.
Look the Part
We all know that your professional style has a big impact on how other people view you. A lawyer who dresses in overly casual clothing will have to be a genius to compensate for their clothing. The exact type of clothing that you wear will depend on the overall branding of your business, but in general, it’s best to dress as smart as possible. It’s about showing respect to your potential partners — they’ll doubt how seriously you’re taking the meeting if you’re wearing jeans, for instance.
During any business collaboration, your potential business partner will pick up on a lot during your meeting. Some of these things, such as the clothes you’re wearing, you’ll see in the mirror. Other things will be more subtle. For instance, your confidence levels. You could do all the other things that project a good image — dressing well, arriving in a fancy car — but if you’re not confident when you’re talking, then it’s unlikely that your visitor will be all that impressed. It’s a good idea to get yourself into a position of confidence before the meeting. For instance, you may meditate so that you’re calm and collected, and check your posture so that you’re standing tall and straight.
Make it Enjoyable
You’ll be holding the meeting for serious reasons. This is a business meeting, after all. However, remember that not every second of the meeting has to be stiff and rigid. People like to have a good rapport with the people that they’re dealing with, so it’s important to mix in a few moments of enjoyment and personality into the meeting. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should be making jokes every few minutes. But it’s OK to add a personal touch before and after the meeting. They’ll want to see that you’re a good person as well as a good business person.
The meeting will be the most important part. But you should also think about how you can keep the good impression rolling on after the meeting is over. The follow-up is key to getting the most from your professional meetings. You may check in to ensure that they made it home OK, and to thank them for taking time out of their busy schedule to meet with them. More than anything, it’ll show them that you’re serious.
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