How to Leave a Professional Impression on Business Contacts

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A bad first impression is almost impossible to erase, so when you’re meeting your business partners, clients or corporate, make sure to do everything in your power to leave a positive mark. This sounds very easy in theory, but in reality, there are so many things that can go wrong. To always be prepared for fateful meetings and impress everyone involved, here are a few tricks on how to pull that off:

Research your contacts

You won’t get another chance to make a first impression, so try your best to do it the best way the first time around. To sound professional and trustworthy, take some time to research potential clients or employers so know who you’re talking about and about what. The information you learn will allow you to point out how you or your services can make their lives easier. Create a positive outlook by focusing on your advantages instead of others’ flaws.

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Practice good body language

Any person you communicate with will notice your body language even before you open your mouth to introduce yourself. To send the right message, stand up straight and keep a natural pose. Usually, having your shoulders a little bit back, arms relaxed and head up will present you in a good light—you’ll seem like an interested, enthusiastic and open person. When your client or partner is speaking, make eye contact and face the person with your shoulders. This position demonstrates attention and focus and puts the speaker at ease, filling them with confidence and trust in you.

Pay attention to your attire

People say that they don’t like to judge a book by its cover, but they always do just that. To make a good first impression, don’t rush getting out of your apartment in the morning. Take time to work on your outfit so that your appearance projects the right image. For business purposes, always go with smart clothing that fits your body and pay special attention to personal grooming (a fresh haircut, shave and clothes can go a long way). And don’t forget about details. Look into interesting mens jewelry that will show that you are detail-oriented, careful and trendy. Attractive cuff links, money clips and tie bars are a perfect addition to your business look. Also, if you need vision aids, carefully consider whether to wear glasses or contacts. Glasses leave a smart and professional impression, but contacts accentuate your good features and allow people to see judge your facial expressions better.

Know your conversation etiquette

You should be a good conversationalist by allowing the other person to talk as well. The ideal ratio is 50% talking and 50% listening. When listening, demonstrate your interest and attention by asking questions, making eye contact and nodding. Interrupting the other person while they’re talking is very rude, so wait your turn. Also, show confidence and honesty by talking clearly and loudly enough—you don’t want to create noise, but also you want people to hear you without any trouble.

Leave a good digital impression

In many cases, people will meet you online first, before meeting you in person. Therefore, it’s crucial to leave a good digital impression before you come face to face with clients or employers. Most likely, your first interaction will be through your websites, email or social media. Leave a professional and educated first impression by creating a professional email signature (it’s easy to do even if you’re not a computer wizard), working on a beautiful website and ensuring your social media is up-to-date and appropriate. Creating a functional yet aesthetically pleasing website is not an easy task, but if you hire the right experts, they will ensure you get the website you and your clients and customers deserve. When running social media, make sure to fact-check everything you post and refrain from posting anything that concerns race, religion or other touchy subjects (unless that’s your main thing, of course).

The world of business today is oversaturated with mediocre people, so you need to use your first impression to stand out from the crowd and win over your clients’ respect, trust and contracts. To ensure your personal and company image are looking sharp and clean, study these ways to leave a strong impression and you will further reinforce your good image. When clients, customers, partners and corporate see that you’re competent and trustworthy, you will go far in business.

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