It’s natural to be nervous before a big meeting, as your job could be riding on something that’s liable to take less than an hour to be done with. Preparation is key, and your first step should be acknowledging that what we like to pretend is just a chat, albeit a formal one, is actually a business transaction and it should be treated as such. This may seem like a daunting statement but once you remove the personal element, a meeting becomes just like any other sale, which can make it far easier to deal with. Below you’ll find four tips that will help you make a great impression next time you present yourself and your product or service.
Give Them Something to Take Away
It may seem like we’re jumping the gun a bit here, but it’s important to get any time-consuming preparations out of the way first. Fun promotional products can be a great way to connect with your audience. Not only do they show that you’re organized but they will also serve as a reminder when all is said and done. Choose something that aligns with your company’s values and goals, but ensure it carries a bit of personality as well. Standing out from the crowd can often be the difference between getting the contract, or going home with your tail between your legs.
Know Your Audience
Your next step should be collecting as much information as you can about whomever you’re meeting with. Memorize company stats, relevant personal information about the representative you’ll be speaking with, and any other points that could be beneficial during your conversation.
Having done your research will help you feel more confident and, if you play your cards right, score you some serious brownie points.
Out of Sight, out of Mind
It’s a given that you want to present a professional image, so employ the age-old sales trick and park somewhere that cannot be seen from your meeting place. While ensuring you dress the part and groom yourself appropriately are important, your image can be completely ruined by your arrival, no matter how well put together you are personally. A car that cost less than your watch doesn’t really match with your aesthetic, but an expensive flashy one can make you come off as gaudy. Parking out of sight also gives you time to compose yourself and make any necessary touch-ups without tarnishing your professionalism.
Game, Set, Match
Finally, and possibly most importantly, finish with a strong statement. Your entire presentation will be brought down by a weak closing comment, so if you only focus on one part of your pitch, make it the end. This is the part where you want to summarise without repeating yourself, remove any lingering doubts your audience may have and preferably close the deal. If you can’t walk away with a definite yes, you want to make sure you at least stay at the front of the pack. This looks different depending on the aim of your meeting but once you’ve prepared everything else your closing statements should fall into place without too much effort.
Now you’ve got your ducks in a row and your suit and tie pressed, all that’s left to do is go knock your new partner’s socks off. Good luck, believe in yourself, and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day so it’s okay to build your empire one bit at a time.