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Impressions: Make the First a Lasting One

Reported by foodem.com, the online wholesale food marketplace-

Customers are one of the most important assets to any business. Often times businesses are created with a specific customer or customers in mind, along with their spending dollars. The pain of the customer is usually the driving force behind a business venture – how can I solve this or that particular problem for those customers?

Once your business is up and running, before long, you will need to market and promote your product or service to your target audience. First and foremost, digital marketing is the way to go, but you should still take advantage of traditional marketing as well. While both of these strategies are tried and true, one of the best and most valuable marketing tools is word of mouth – your mouth! Talking face-to-face with your customers allows an opportunity for a lasting impression to be made. Not only does this tactic strengthen and extend the business bond, it also connects a human face to the brand.

Wait a minute, before you go and schedule a calendar full of in-person customer meetings or start shaking hands all over town, there are a few tricks to consider when trying to make a great first impression.

Stay Fit

  • There’s not much to this one. Exercising helps you maintain a certain level of health and energy. It has been said that customers decide whether they want to work with you within two seconds of meeting you. This means, you must look healthy, alert and interested in what’s going on.

Culture Research

  • Different industries and geographic regions may call for different norms where personal appearance is concerned. For instance, those interviewing for a programmer position in Silicon Valley may wear jeans and a t-shirt with a blazer; this is perfectly acceptable. An interviewee outside of the U.S. may need to wear a suit and tie for the same position. The bottom line, do your research before your meeting.

Outward Signals

  • Face it, people are very judgmental and there’s no way around it. Your hair, teeth, outfit…down to your watch and earrings impacts the way you are perceived. Make sure you present yourself in the best light; communicate that you are someone they want to do business with.

Appropriate Greeting

  • This goes back to research. In some parts of the world the appropriate way to greet someone is to rub noses, while in another part of the world a simple bow is called for. Depending on where you are, be aware of offensive gestures and facial expressions. You don’t want your meeting to end before it starts.

Meeting Preparedness

  • Beforehand, determine what it is that you want to get out of the meeting. Creating talking points, slides and/or charts is an effective way to prepare and communicate your agenda.

Evaluation

  • There is always room for improvement. After each meeting, take a moment to reflect. Think about the reactions, comments and responses that were given during your meeting. Next, ask yourself what can be improved upon. Also ask for the feedback of a trusted colleague if they attended the meeting.

We hate to admit it, but first impressions are everything. The great part about it is, you have the power to control the majority of the impression. Yes, everyone has their own opinion, but regardless of that, you have ability to put your best foot forward.

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