It’s not easy to get a new business off the ground or keep a supply of new contacts and interest, but making a great first impression can certainly help. Here are our top tips for wowing your business network.
What is it about you (and your business) that makes you memorable among your competitors? Maybe you have a product that no-one else is offering. Maybe your turnaround and customer service are impeccable. Or maybe it’s because you have business cards that stand out among the crowd. These small items are what your potential customer sees of you long after you’ve parted company – consider well-designed or unusual options like plastic business cards or promotional items.
Nothing turns off a potential collaborator like immediately launching into a pitch. Customers work with you just as much as your ideas – take the time to ask about their needs and requirements in order to mould your reply to their situation. It’s not appropriate to delve too deeply on personal circumstances but a few details (such as whether they have kids, are married, or have particular leisure interests) will help you build a relationship and common understandings. Don’t forget little touches like regularly using their name during your conversation – it’s these little details that leave a lasting impression of care and confidence.
In the Western world we seal the deal on a handshake – make sure yours isn’t memorable for the wrong reasons. Too weak and you appear to lack confidence, but too hard and you’ll leave your potential customer with a sore hand. It sounds crazy but do practice your greeting and parting touch – it’s an important part of helping others get a sense of who you are.
Obviously, your customer is going to want to know about the product you’re selling – but they also want to know a little about you. Tell them about why you’re passionate about this item or project and what it means to you. Perhaps the current project you’re working on isn’t for them but if you take the time to make a genuine human connection then they may think of you for other ideas in the future.
Think about what you’re going to wear for customer appointments. You may work in the creative industries where it’s easier to be less formal, but is that the right tone for the customer? It’s better to make too much of an effort (showing you’re trying hard) than not enough and appearing slouchy or lazy. You can always take a more casual road once you know what your client is comfortable with.
Using this key advice should help you make a credible impression that lasts. Get in touch today to organise your high-quality, original business cards that keep you a step ahead. Good luck!