How Long to Make a First Impression?
In her article "Make a Powerful First Impression Every Time" professional speaker and author Patti Hathaway tells how long you have to make a first impression on the people you meet:
"Whether you are in customer service, sales, management, professional position or in a support role, you are making an impression on those around you. Is it the impression you want?
How long do you think you have before someone will make a judgement about you? minutes? seconds? In her book 'The Four Minute Sell', Janet Elsea says you have 7 - 15 seconds to make a good first impression. You have about four minutes total for someone to decided if they want to go beyond that first four minutes (therein lies the 4 minute sell)."
Read the rest of Patti's article Make a Powerful First Impression Every Time.
Let 'Em Talk
People buy consulting services from folks with whom they feel comfortable. Best way to create a feeling of comfort in a prospect meeting: let the prospect talk! Listen and don't interrupt. Take notes to convey the importance of your "one-way" conversation. It's very possible that, in this very busy business world, your competition won't take the time to listen to this prospect, as they may be too anxious to tell what they can do for his/her company. Button your lip and let 'em talk. It'll lead to more business in the long run.
Many people join professional trade associations for access to current industry information. Another important membership attraction is an association's buying power for value-added deals on products and services that benefit its membership. How can your business profit from such an arrangement? Contact the group's Membership Director to arrange a meeting to discuss ways your products or services can be of use to his/her membership.