Biz Tips: How to Make a First Business Impression

Biz Tips: How to Make a First Business Impression


How to Make a First Business Impression

7 Steps to Success

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Every first impression is the beginning of a potential relationship. Where the relationship goes is a mystery. But where and how it starts is within your control.

These 7 steps will put you ahead of the lazy masses who aren’t thinking ahead. The same people who think they will get hired just by showing up. There is no worst-case scenario here. If you take these steps, your likelihood of success will increase.

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”

— Arthur Ashe

1. Do Your Research

Whether it’s a formal interview or an informal meeting to get to know each other, you should never show up without doing comprehensive research on the person and/or company.

Nothing is more impressive than someone who comes to the table prepared. Doing your homework in advance shows someone that you don’t need a directive to act. You already acted.

2. Know the Culture

Culture can be elusive in plain analytical research, but your ability to understand the culture of a company, in advance, can add to your preparedness.

Look outside-the-box for information on culture. Videos, outside blog sources and shared connections can be great sources for advanced knowledge on how a company works.

“The culture of a workplace — an organization’s values, norms and practices — has a huge impact on our happiness and success.”

— Adam Grant

Photo by Breather on Unsplash

3. Make an Advanced Connection

This is the most undervalued perk of LinkedIn. Find the person and/or company. Who do you know who is connected to them or follows them? Is there someone you can make an advanced connection with?

An advanced connection, prior to a first meeting, will show that you are vetting them as much as they are evaluating you. A company or boss wants someone who wants to know about their business.

P.S. — It doesn’t hurt if you’ve already made a friend there.

4. Dress the Part

Once you’ve researched the culture, you should be able to ascertain the general dress code. You should always be dressed one notch ahead of whatever you think is appropriate.

It’s always safer to err on the side of better dressed than too casual. However, it is also important not to overdress. Overdressing may come off as desperate or not understanding of the culture.

It doesn’t matter if you are meeting in the office or outside. You want to present yourself in the best way to maximize the potential impact of a meeting.

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5. Arrive Early

In a business context, no one is put off by someone who is early. It shows that you left nothing to chance in your travel. It shows you were not going to miss the meeting no matter what.

Arriving early, if at a company, can give you time to get a preview of the culture in person. If it’s a more informal meeting outside of the office, it gives you time to revisit your initial research.

6. Ask Questions

Most people will ask you if you have any questions about them or their company. Those that have no questions rarely get hired. Because it seems like they didn’t do any research or are just happy to be there.

If you have questions that are tailored to recent news, information on the website or via something you saw on their social media, they will know you have already invested time into their brand.

Asking questions puts you in a power position and makes you a participant instead of just an interviewee.

Photo by Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash

7. Follow Up

Even if they tell you that they will be in touch, follow up the same day with a thank you. Thank them for their time and let them know that you are open to feedback.

It doesn’t matter if they don’t respond. You just showed them that you are appreciative of the opportunity. Those that don’t follow up often miss out on opportunity.

But keep it short. Your only goal is to let them know that you appreciated the fact that they took the time to meet with you.

“Before I get out of bed, I am saying thank you. I know how important it is to be thankful.”

— Al Jarreau

There are only a minute amount of people in the world who will do all 7 of these steps to success to make a great first business impression. Are you one of them?

Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

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