Have you ever come out of a business meeting feeling you’ve done everything right and to later find out your prospect chose the exact same proposal but from another competitor?
You presented the best offer to fulfil their requirements. So what went wrong? Well, business is like dating. You can be the best at what you do but if you don’t have the right attitude and right image then you won’t seal the deal. Business is all about relationships. People buying from people they like. Meeting a new client for the first time is like dating. To make sure this person wants to see you again here are a few rules from the first date that you can apply when meeting a new client for the first time.
Dress to impress
Ladies don’t be too sexy as attention should be focused on your face not your cleavage or your legs. Gents wear appropriate clothes so you can impress with your style.
Apply positive body language
- Smile and be kind
- Don’t get distracted by other prospects but focus your attention on your client
- Don’t be inappropriate but respectful
- Be a gentleman or be a lady
Show your interest and interact
- Listen and respond appropriately
- Don’t talk too much or act cocky
- Maintain good eye contact but don’t stare
A little of humour is always a great way to relax and bond with your guests.
Pay the bill
The person who initiates this business encounter should always pay the bill even if the other person is kind enough to offer to pay half. When you are sure your guest won’t order anything else, excuse yourself from the table and discretely pay the bill. Your guest will certainly be surprised and impressed with your smooth approach.
However the only rule from the dating world that can’t be applied in business is flirting, as getting into bed with your client is definitely not part of the plan.
As mentioned, building a relationship takes time and gaining credibility by courting your customers is a life-long process. It’s important that you don’t give too much away when you first meet. Yes, woo them. Make them want to see you again, but have products and services up your sleeve that will have them running to your business time and time again.
The most successful businesses are the businesses that grow with their customers. Listen to what they want and give it to them; and don’t be afraid to ask how you can serve them better. When you are dating, you want it to lead somewhere. You don’t want to court for the sake of it. You want it to lead to long term relationship (well most people do).
When you are dating and in a relationship, it’s important to keep things fresh. That is the key to a healthy relationship and it’s the same in business. Apple are a great example of this. They are constantly upgrading and bringing out new products to keep things fresh.
Help your customers to fall in love with your brand. Be consistent. Be willing to serve and let them know that you care. It will take your business a long way.