When meeting someone new, we make a first impression in a very short amount of time and there’s no exception to this in business meetings. Of course, following corporate standards like punctuality and keeping a professional, neat appearance will be looked upon favorably but if you really want to make a memorable impact next time, here are five things you should highly consider.
1. The Perfect Location
If you’re meeting with a person with fine taste, you don’t want to ruin your chances of closing a deal by hosting the meeting in an unprofessional environment. Serviced offices have a range of meeting and conference rooms for hire which can help you make a great impression. They are the perfect, on-demand solution because you can choose different types of stunning serviced offices based on your meeting and they will always be ready and in great condition.
2. Authenticity: Be Yourself
It’s easy to get caught up in business plans and formalities, but you should always keep in mind that all parties in the meeting are fellow people who may share a common goal or interest with you. Keep the meeting agenda in mind, but don’t skip a friendly greeting or undermine the importance of building rapport when you are meeting someone new or establishing firmer business relationships. Finding common ground or something to smile about is always a great sign in building professional relationships.
3. Thoughtful Catering
Offering a fully catered lunch service for a big meeting is a wonderful gesture, but you must be mindful of any potential dietary requirements or allergies the attendees may have. You definitely wouldn’t want your prospective client or partner left hungry or unsatisfied. Even if it’s only light snacks, canapés or beverages on offer, be sure to note your invitees’ dietary requirements in advance. Failure to do so risks giving the impression of being inconsiderate and inattentive to detail, which is the exact opposite of what you wanted.
4. Switch Off Your Phones
Unless you need phones or mobile devices as a part of your meeting, keep them out of sight or at least, out of your line of sight. A successful meeting requires full attention; you do not want to miss any important details or seem unfocused by glancing at your phone notifications. Treat it like the movies; turn your phone off or set it to ‘Do Not Disturb’ and do not forget to disable Vibrate settings! If an important conversation is interrupted by a loudly buzzing, vibrating device; polite stakeholders will insist it’s not awkward – but it always is.
5. Listen Up
The value underpinning all these tips so far, and possibly the most important quality to display in a workplace meeting, is being attentive. Allow others to speak up about any of their possible concerns and feedback. Don’t make the mistake of intervening too much or emphasizing your own self-importance – especially if you’re relatively new or meeting new people. Be an active listener, show interest in others and take in all the information you can. Don’t stay mute though – nodding in response and referring back to points made by your colleagues will show your interest and attentive nature. This will bring you more chances to connect and impress in a meeting.
Don’t let something as fleeting as a business meeting throw you off your game in your place of work. Take these five things into account at your next meeting and you’ll be able to make a lasting impression that fosters stronger, professional relationships with your peers.