Posted 23rd June 2014 | By James Roberts, Sales and Marketing Manager

Working in a business development role I meet with a lot of clients on a daily basis and first impressions really do count.

All of these meetings are just one of the ways we win new business here at ExtraMile. We meet with prospective and current clients to show them what a great company we are and pitch for their business. It's a lot easier to create the right impression when clients come to our office as they get to meet all of the staff and be shown around the studio. When you go out to meet with clients for the first time it's a bit harder to create that right impression. I thought I would share with you my top 6 tips for going out on a business meeting.

1. Research – Knowing the company you are going to helps you look knowledgeable and professional. Look at their website and the industry they are in. What makes them tick?

2. Location – Find out exactly where you are going so there are no surprises when you get there. Have a look on Google Street View and ask them about parking. The last thing you want to be doing is stressing about finding a space for the car - it will put you in the wrong frame of mind for your meeting.

3. Timing is everything – I know this sounds like a given but when you are really busy it's difficult. Always plan enough time between meetings and make sure you arrive in plenty of time, even if you have to wait in the car for a few minutes it's better than rushing. Always have their number so if the unexpected does happen, and you are running late due to traffic, you can call them and let them know.

4. Body language – Making a good first impression is massively important and body language has a lot to do with that. For example, make sure when they come to meet you in reception that you are standing because you will be meeting on the same level and that's important. Also smile and look friendly (happy people sell).

5. Be personable – Make sure you build a rapport with them. A bit of small talk when they are walking you to and from the meeting room is important, as it helps get to know one another and make the meeting friendlier - after all, people buy from people.

6. Follow up is key – Make sure you do what you have agreed in the meeting and do it earlier than you promised. Under promise, over deliver - it always looks good.

So that's just a few tips for creating the right impression at a meeting. I hope they help you. Some of the points are glaringly obvious, but if you just forget to do one it can mean the difference between winning and losing out on a new client.

Written by James Roberts, Sales and Marketing Manager at ExtraMile Communications.

At ExtraMile we try to take an hour out each week to look around us at what others do and to gain inspiration and to admire people's creativity. Each post in this series is one staff member's take on the world of web, design and things online. We hope you enjoy it.



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