Why First Impressions Make or Break Your Business Meetings

It takes one-tenth of a second to form a first impression of somebody. One-tenth. The rest of those long minutes will be spent reinforcing that initial judgement. Imagine if you had spinach in your teeth...

The pressure is really on when it's not just you trying to make a good impression, but your company as a whole. Judgements start the moment a client walks through the door. If you want to see it for yourself; watch people's eyes when they walk into a room. Almost all people will, often subconsciously, glance around their surroundings. To make the best impression, it's crucial that every glance at every detail is a positive one, each reinforcing the last. Wow your clients before your meeting even begins, and you're on the fast track to success. So then, which details set you up for a win?

1. Comfort Comes First

If you manage to put your clients at ease in their surroundings, they will be more receptive and accommodating to any issues, and closing that big deal. Use a bright, warm meeting room (preferably with large windows) and make sure it is spotless, ordered and decorated in a modern but minimal way; think fresh flowers, a perky plant or two and crisp looking walls. Remember to always, always, always provide each seat with a bottle of water. Nothing puts a client faster in a grump than cottonmouth!

A well organised meeting room sets the tone for a winning outcome. Floor to ceiling windows and warm wood panelling really impress here. Beware the dreaded plastic chairs!

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

2. Go Beyond the Expected

Small details, such as your crisp shirt or a classy watch, ooze professionalism. Set yourself apart with unusual business cards. Most importantly, treat your clients to premium corporate catering instead of the usual limp corner sandwiches once the meeting adjourns.  Office food delivery is fast becoming the norm, and due to the corporate catering boom in London, the bar is set high. Recognise the status of your clients with premium packages from City Pantry. Great food, presented well, not only fills bellies (which naturally makes for happy clients) but also gives them something to ooh and aah about.

The Parisienne corporate lunch package from City Pantry is different every day of the week. Unusual and delicious ingredients will surprise tastebuds and get your clients talking.

3. Paying Attention Pays Off.

We all know of the immense power of body language. To impress on a personal level, make it your mission to be constantly aware of your mannerisms, and absolutely do not let your mind wander! Hold eye contact even if it makes you feel uncomfortable-- yes, it makes us cringe inside too. Deepen the pitch of your voice and match your speaking style to that of the client. Are they laid back? Don't be afraid to joke. Is it a formal meeting? Pay extra attention to correct pronunciation and diction. As common sense as it may sound, you would be surprised how many people forget rule number one: mute that smartphone and don't pick it up until the meeting is over. And finally, don't forget to smile-- all the way to your eyes!

For more tips on making a killer impression, check out this post.

City Pantry can lend a helping hand to an unforgettable first impression. Check out our top corporate catering packages in London:

Pollen and Grace Premium Lunch Package




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