The idea that first impressions matter is a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason. While it may seem outdated to judge a person solely on their appearance and the initial meeting, business persons have long memories, and any biases after the first contact may well linger for a long time.
And now, in a world where anybody can start their own business and entrepreneurs can come from all walks of life, it is more important than ever that you can make an excellent first impression when it comes to meeting potential clients, customers, or investors.
The first impression can relate to anything from your appearance, your office culture, or even the way you conduct yourself around new and possibly more senior members of your company. By ensuring that you avoid the mistakes of the many when it comes to first impressions, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about, right?
When meeting someone for the first time, you want to look professional and serious. This is true for every situation in life and not just business. But, when first meeting someone who could very well have a massive influence on the success of your company it is much, much more than a life and death scenario.
Dressing professionally is Business 101. There is no point in wasting time discussing the proper attire for CEOs when first meeting investors or clients. However, while we all know about what to wear, some people often don’t know how to act. Firm handshakes, eye contact, a clear focus on what you want and a sense of humour will all go along way in convincing anyone who comes into your office will be the real deal.
Entering your office could very well be the first instance of someone experiencing what your company is all about directly. The first thing they will probably see is the reception desk, which will give them an immediate impression of what sort of office culture you are running.
Furthermore, the placement of such desks will demonstrate the sort of inclusiveness of the office. Is it within the office alongside salesmen and women? Or secluded in an independent room before getting into the main office? While it may not seem significant, these things matter to those who will matter to your company, should they choose to.
Once the initial meeting is out of the way, it is time to consider how the rest of the office will look to outsiders. While your company may have its unique way of doing things that make sense to you and your employees, to outsiders, it can sometimes come off the wrong way.
To ensure that this does not become an issue, it is wise to know exactly what might be questioned and have an acceptable and responsible answer to whatever might be thrown at you. If you can justify your office culture in a way that demonstrates you are working for the benefit of the business, many supposedly strange office quirks will be overlooked and sometimes even encouraged.
With everything being conducted online in the modern age, having a fully functioning website is paramount to attracting the right people. Web design can be a hard and arduous process, and so employing the right people to do it for you can save a lot of time and effort.
For many, the website will be the first interaction with your business, and so it is essential to ensure that everything works. This is much more than merely clicking a few links, instead, going through each page with a fine-toothed comb will help avoid any embarrassing questions when trying to convince people to invest in your business.
While it may seem that it would take the world’s most nitpicky and pedantic investor or client to think of all of these factors when first interacting with your business, it is because of this nitpicking that they are in the position to make such judgements. Every day, more and more people are coming round to the idea that the 21st century business world is so unlike the past that it is almost recognisable, but ensuring that you make the best first impression possible is the key to your success.
It can be tough to recover from someone’s negative opinion of you, so don’t give them the opportunity and go along with what is expected. Once you have the support, you can shoot as high as you want, and eventually make other companies worry about their first impression when they meet you.
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