Research indicates that you have between 20 seconds and two minutes to make an impression. Within that short period of time, the potential client will subconsciously rate your competency, social skills, education level and potential fit with the organization.
We know that 93 percent of clients are forming their opinions about you and your business based on your appearance: the way you clothe, groom and carry yourself. Here are 10 tips to help you make the best possible impression, stand out from your competition and ultimately win over the potential client.
1. Wear garments that support your brand and the brand of your organization. Choose navy if you want to appear powerful, authoritative, and professional. Choose brown if you want to appear approachable, down-to-earth, practical. Choose pink if you want to appear feminine and delicate. Every color you wear sends a message. Make sure the colors you choose solidifies your message.
2. Tailor your clothes to fit you properly. Properly tailored clothing leaves the impression that you are capable of taking care of the details on your person and are therefore capable of taking care of details on the job. The most professional fit is semi-fit: not too tight, not too loose.
3. Wear a jacket even if your client's dress code is business casual. Jackets convey the message of authority, confidence and knowledge. Consultants and entrepreneurs must leave the impression that they are knowledgeable and confident.
4. Shake hands with confidence. The proper way to shake hands is web-to-web, connect with the eyes, smile, shake two to three times and release. Apply the same pressure as the person with whom you are shaking hands.
5. Smile. Smiling puts you in a positive frame of mind and conveys to the potential client that you are confident, approachable and warm.
6. Stand tall when entering the room and sitting in a chair. Avoid slouching.
7. Take up space. Spread your papers out and dont be afraid to take up space after being seated.
8. Long hair should be tied back. Curly hair should be under control. Side burns should be trimmed. Facial hair should be non-existent.
9. Trim and manicure your nails. Ladies, choose clear nail polish. Gentlemen, clean your nails.
10. Ladies, wear make-up. Research shows that women who wear make-up get promoted four times faster and make twice as much money as those who dont. A little make-up will go a long way.