First Impressions Are Made Sooner Than You Think

by Jen Gluckow

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Your sales meeting has arrived with a potential client, and you think youre prepared. Youve vetted the company, identified their areas of need, how you can help them, and researched who may be present in the room that can block or support your move. But have you researched yourself?

Think about it: they have! Theyve probably Googled you, looked you up on Facebook, read your Twitter feed, and seen who you follow and who your friends are. Your online reputation speaks for itself.

Your online resume is out there for the world to see. It provides ample opportunity for a prospect to call a former employer for a recommendation. Your prospect may have even called your office line pretending to be someone else, just to hear how you talk and if you are friendly and knowledgeable.

So how do you prepare? Use these guidelines to make sure theres not a virtual piece of toilet paper constantly stuck to your shoe:

Before The Meeting

Hello. Good Morning. Im Busy.

You will probably take a call from a potential client before seeing them face-to-face. Remember that they are still shopping around for a vendor they can believe in. If you sound disheveled when you answer the phone, youll be crossed off the list before gaining a meeting. Adjust your attitude and slow down before you pick up. Take a second to relax, especially if called during a busy period, and try smiling before you open your mouth. Youll be amazed at how people can actually hear a smile.

#Service #Sales #MARTINIS #WHAT!?

Look at your social media security settings. For Facebook, make sure you have the power of discretion on comments and tags before they appear on your timeline. For Twitter, who you follow says a lot about you, so keep your contacts tasteful and relevant to your services. Depending on your career, potential clients should find profiles that drive your business persona with a touch of fun, rather than a magnifying glass into your most intimate life details. No one wants to see you with a martini except for your bartender.

In Person

Early Wins.

Arrive early. Arrive prepared. When you arrive early, you set an expectation that you are organized and with it. If you arrive late, it is an indication that you dont respect their time and they will assume that this is how you conduct business.

Be Genuine Be Confident

Go beyond the aesthetic: anyone can buy a new suit and have it tailored and ironed. Give a strong handshake and enter with confidence and a smile. Bring your white paper thats right, write one! Be prepared with any information they may need about you, especially if it spotlights your achievements. Dont be the shrinking violet. People flock to confidence and innovation, so view the meeting as an opportunity to sell yourself as someone who will help their company.

A client asked for my sales coaching help and before the meeting, I looked him up. His business had numerous complaints from customers and employees. In fact, the first 5 pages of Google only contained negative remarks about his company. No wonder he wasnt getting sales!

Since first impressions begin with the first uploaded photo of yourself, customer reviews and online info, sales meetings begin long before you step into the room with a client. By keeping a tight lock on your online presence and your phone etiquette, you can eliminate your competition.

Turn your passion into increased sales.

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With co-host Jeffrey Gitomer, we bring in top sales professionals to give you the best advice to kick your own ass.