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How to make a great impression at the first client meeting

Now you will hear something that your competitors don't know about building credibility faster when you meet your customers. These methods require a little courage, but I promise you will see results quickly. Here are ten tips for those looking to get the customer on your side:

1. Consider yourself as equal. Never minimize yourself to the customer. This is why you shouldn't visit the customer with your slick Power Point Presentation. Instead, you should show up with the attitude that the two of you together are going to explore the possibility of a professional relationship where both parties can accept or reject it. Nice huh! I've always done it this way because it's in my personality to not even think about the idea that we should do nothing, but help each other. Never try to sell stuff to people they don't want. If they don't need what I can offer, it's not even fun to sell it.

2. Be patient. As soon as it gets quiet, don't start babbling about ”your solutions.”You are not there to sell - you are there to develop a relationship. It may take several meetings to do so.

3. Challenge the customer by asking questions that make him/her start talking about himself/herself, or at least about the company. Show interest in the customer and the company.

4. Do your homework. Learn the customer's history, learn about their competitors and their market.

5. Resist. Choose some situations where you don't agree with the customer. Offer alternative viewpoints. Relationships are based on honesty and openness.

6. Offer an immediate value by demonstrating some techniques that can be useful for the customer. Never wallow in theories.

7. Take your customer in your arms. Talk about ”us” and ”we” and concentrate your conversation around how the two of you can do something together, not what ”you” can do for” them”. Encourage the client to imagine the two of you working together so that he/she can see it before him/her.

8. Focus on results instead of talking about which paths there are (that comes later).

9. Keep and maintain a professional image. Dress neatly, even in informal situations. A little more expensive everyday clothes tend to be a hallmark of successful people. It's a bit of mystery. He/she who knows, he/she knows.

10. Take the initiative. Ask about and suggest the next steps. That way you act as a person who is accustomed to spending time equal to a higher level. Self-confidence will be noticed and make the customer confident.

I always tell my children that they should” act as if” every time they get in a bad situation. If they are nervous when they have a presentation in school - behave as if you were sure that you will succeed. It takes practice, but it always gives good results. Try it yourself. If you are at a party - behave as if you are the host/hostess. If you are going to attract someone, behave as if you are confident. Practice now!

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.