Placements are all about new experiences and getting to experience things that will challenge you and of course teach you how to become a better professional. Impressing in your first interview will definitely give you the job but you will need to prove yourself many times during your placement period.
One of the most common situations in which you can stand out and show your professional skills, especially in a business environment, is your first meeting. Meetings with clients or prospective clients are a great opportunity to impress them as well as your supervisor. Below you can find the most important tips to follow to nail that first meeting.
Do your research
Feel free to consider your first meeting as a kind of job interview. You must know the basics of what the company does and who you are you meeting with. Obviously you can’t know everything, but knowing how to pronounce the company and client names as well as some details about them is an excellent place to start…do as much research on them as you can!
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. According to surveys, the suit remains the most suitable choice for business meetings. You need to look as professional as you would expect people to look if they arrived on your company’s doorstep.
Listen, listen, listen
As this is your first meeting, you probably won’t get the chance to shine. You are there to learn and gain the best experience possible. Your superior has trusted you and decided to take you along to the meeting, so your role is getting as much from this meeting as possible. Once you’ve had a chance to introduce yourself, sit back and listen. Mirroring your client’s sentiment and body language will help with your first impression, while adapting will help in all of your future interactions.
Show your interest and take notes
The best thing to do is ask the client questions; however, you may not get the opportunity to do that in your first meeting as you won’t be leading it. If you want to make the client feel important and show him that you take a genuine interest in what they have to say, take notes! Note down all the information he or she may give and you, you never know when you will have to revert back to them for information post meeting. You can also share these notes with your supervisor, they will definitely appreciate the effort.
Speak when you are asked
If you are lucky enough you may get the opportunity to really participate in the first meeting, or at least be part of the process. Having the confidence to interact without being asked, in your first meeting, is great but make sure it is the right time otherwise this could go drastically wrong! Hopefully, your colleague will ask you a question that they know you can answer and let you take the lead. That’s when you should go for it. Make sure you speak slowly and clearly, you have a confident tone in your voice and stay in control of your body language.
Meetings may sound challenging especially when you are just about to enter the big bad business world. What you need to remember is that at the end of the day you are meeting just another human who wants to believe in yourself and the product you’re selling. Suit up, show up on time, smile and impress!