How to make a good first impression in business


This guide outlines the strategies for how to make a good first impression and boost your business.
The importance of making a good first impression could not be more palpable than in business, with 78 percent of customers cancelling a transaction because the experience was too negative, according to American Express. But first impressions leave a lasting mark not just on clients, but on partners and other important entities as well. Therefore, success in business arguably hinges on the opening salvo. Here’s how you can ensure yours is nothing to scoff at.

How to make a good first impression

Perfect Your Value Proposition

The first problem you need to surmount to get your foot in the door is convincing the client that you are reliable, and that they wouldn’t go wrong with enlisting your help. Or even if you’re not talking to a potential client, it would be good to at least give off the impression that your services are effective.
This helps build your general reputation as a competent businessperson or company, and helps sharpen your ability to deliver strong value propositions.
The key to this is knowing exactly what problem you solve, and how you solve it. This entails being honest about your results, and being keenly aware of what’s being done to improve them or grow them even further. Humans love to crack things open to see their inner workings, what makes them tick.
Being transparent about how you do things, within reason, will foster trust between you and potential clients or partners. Giving them the whole picture from the start also allows them to make a decision with all the cards on the table, preventing any unpleasant surprises down the line.

Do Your Homework on the Person You’ll be Talking To

Everyone loves it when people seem interested and involved in their lives, whether it be their passions or their work that they’ve put years of their life into. So it pays to engage in a rigorous deep dive of the person or people you’re going to meet.
Familiarize yourself with the steps they took to get to where they are now, their strong points, and the challenges they faced on the way. This will inform your elevator pitch, a core component of a businessperson’s first impression, as well as every other interaction you’ll have during the meeting.
Knowing their motivations and long-term goals is an invaluable advantage. This goes a long way when it comes to aligning your goals with theirs. Doing so gives them the impression that you are natural allies and will make them much more amicable to working with you.
What’s more is that, knowing all of these benefits, you are much less likely to come across as disingenuous in doing your homework about them. This is because you also have a vested interest in knowing exactly how they fit into your sector of the business world.

Hone Your Rapport-Building Skills

People gravitate towards those who have more to offer than just business. If somebody likes you, they’ll be much more likely to want to do business with you. As a businesswoman, you are part of the human component of the company you represent.
It’s your job to be warm and personable to those you speak to, as this is an indicator of the type of character your company puts its stock in, as well as your quality as a professional. This is where an easy sense of humor, a fun-loving persona, and the good sense to know how to balance business and pleasure become invaluable. It also entails upping your image, from your clothes to the settings you receive them in.
If you’re going to be receiving people in your company’s building, it also pays to ensure that it is presentable as well, even if you have to invest in detailing or a commercial pressure washing service to do so. Whether they’re a brass tacks or an easygoing kind of person, you want their experience dealing with you to be as enjoyable as possible, and devoid of tedium, awkwardness, disinterest, or other negative emotions commonly associated with the term “businesslike.”
Building rapport also serves a very important function to securing the best deals. Connecting with those you interact with is vital to arrive at a conclusion that benefits both parties.
When someone is comfortable with you, it’s much easier to whittle them down to their core motivations and drives, letting you figure out the best possible compromise between your interests and theirs, possibly one that they hadn’t even considered. A guarded individual can only show you so much to work with. A person who genuinely enjoys your company will be much more inclined to work with you.

Forge a Deeper Connection

Strengthening your rapport is vital in its own right, but it also serves as a gateway towards building even deeper connections with the people you interact with. Heightening familiarity and understanding between the people you do business with is important to ensure their loyalty.
Your bread and butter here are telling genuine stories about your business, as well as listening to their own stories. Storytelling, as far as we know, is a uniquely human tradition and is core to our identities and worldviews. And while both you or the person you’re talking to may forget the stories you tell one another, the emotions you felt while exchanging them will remain impressed upon you.
Your client or partner knowing why you are in the business you are in tells them a lot about the stuff you are made of, and will thus make them subliminally prefer you over another business who hasn’t been as open with them.
Likewise, listening to their stories lets them know that you are legitimately interested in their wants and needs, and will thus try to fulfill them as best you can. Open communication also lets you find common ground, which will strengthen your connection even more as you uncover more and more interests and views that are aligned, and all new avenues of cooperation.

Conclude the Interaction Elegantly

Finally, it’s also highly important that you know how to seal the deal. Sum up everything you’ve picked up from the interaction, and use all of this to arrive at an agreeable conclusion.
This is the culmination of the entire exchange, and is the true test of whether or not you’ve been engaged in it the whole time. Whether consciously or not, the other person is going to appreciate it if you know how to wrap everything up with a bow on top.
It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting acquainted or closing a make-or-break sale, an elegant ending to the interaction practically guarantees that the impression you leave will last.
Make projections of how the conversation will end beforehand, and try to anticipate which possible ending you are moving towards during it. This will let you determine the best call to action or next options to suggest. It may even help to take notes during the meeting itself, so you’ll have all of the core info laid out in front of you. It also helps you remember key details later on.


Whether you own a business or simply represent one, these guidelines are every bit as important to you. If you can ingrain these principles in your business persona, you’ll be able to conduct yourself in a much more attractive manner, making every first impression a charming one.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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