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6 ways to make a good first impression offline

As the popularity of the web rises, it seems some have forgotten that there is more to making a good impression offline than simply having a proper profile picture and a snarky bio. These six tips are timeless for making a good impression in person.

Making a lasting impression

First impressions can make or break any professional relationship. Although it may seem trivial and superficial to base defining judgments solely from a first meeting, it’s how we all work as humans. The first impressions that we get from people shape how we view them in the future. And it takes a lot of positive, consistent interaction to counteract a bad first impression. When it comes to your business, you can’t take that chance. In order to reach optimum success, every first impression must be a good one. Here are the top ways to make a good first in-person impression with your clients, partners, or competitors.

Show Up On Time – One of the most important things you can for making a positive first impression is to be on time. Actually, if you can, be a little early. Nothing is more unprofessional than tardiness. However, if you know you’re going to be late, let that person know as soon as possible. If you can do that, being late usually isn’t a big deal. After all, you can’t account for every unexpected delay, but you can keep them updated.

Look Presentable – Looking your best is an obvious need when you have a business meeting. However, it goes beyond that. You need to look presentable any time you’re out in public. That means while you’re walking your dog, going to a movie, or meeting up with a friend. The truth is, you never know who you’ll meet. And chances are if you’re not presentable, you’ll run into someone that you could do business with.

Be Prepared – If you’ve planned a business meeting, be prepared. Check and double-check that you have several copies of the contract, proposal, or presentation. Because you could run into a potential business partner or client anywhere, be prepared also means carrying business cards with you and maybe even a pamphlet or two, depending on the nature of your business.

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Find Your Confidence – Part of being prepared is finding and showcasing your confidence in yourself and in your business. The trick, however, is to not be too over-confident that it’s off-putting. You don’t want to scare a client away and you don’t want them to think you have an unjustified—or even justified—ego. Sometimes humility and modesty can work wonders, too. You’ll just have to feel out the situation before you know either way.

Be Interested – Show interest in them—meaning, don’t just talk about yourself and your company. Find out their professional needs, what they’re looking for, and their timeframe. Showing interest in them will not only enable you to make a better argument for your product or service, but they will see that it’s more than just closing another deal. Prove that you want to solve their problem through the services you offer.

Find the Balance Between Professional and Personable – This can be a difficult balance to find. You want to portray your professionalism, but you also want to show your unique personality so they’re comfortable with you. You may not get this balance right the first time, but you can with practice.

Making a good first impression is a vital skill to develop as a small business owner and professional. Doing so can take you to the next step in your career and can lift your business to a higher level. A positive first impression means that you’re prepared, confident, and know how to solve a problem through your company’s offerings. But, it’s also about finding the right balance in how you approach someone and how you portray yourself and your brand.

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Written By

The American Genius Staff Writer: Charlene Jimenez earned her Master's Degree in Arts and Culture with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Denver after earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Brigham Young University in Idaho. Jimenez's column is dedicated to business and technology tips, trends and best practices for entrepreneurs and small business professionals.

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