It doesn’t matter if you’re meeting a client for the first time, or you’re about to go on a first date; those first impressions really count. Although we’re always told that it’s wrong to ‘judge a book by its cover’, and that beauty is ‘only skin deep’, humans are hardwired to form impressions in a matter of seconds – so it’s important to make sure you’re having a positive impact!
Why is it so important?
Nail that first impression, and it immediately sets you off on the right foot. You’ll be taken more seriously. People will want to hear what you have to say. They’ll feel positive about you, and feel more secure in your company.
Don’t imagine that the small details don’t matter – they really do. Here’s a checklist of what to keep in mind when you’re meeting someone for the first time.
The little details that make a big difference
- Your shoes. People surely don’t spend any time examining shoes, do they? Well, you’d be surprised. It’s not uncommon for a person’s gaze to slip to floor level, and if you’re wearing scuffed, sloppy shoes, it’ll ruin your overall look. Unless of course, that’s the look you’re going for!
- Your personal grooming. If you’re going to shave, make sure you do it properly. Patchy, uneven shaving will make you look unkempt. If you’re going for a bearded look, condition the hair and trim it to ensure it’s not a wild mess. This is especially important if you’re at a business meeting.
- Take the right bag. Whether it’s a laptop case, rucksack or handbag, it needs to reflect the mood of the meeting. If you’re going on a date, you might want to take something unobtrusive (lugging everything but the kitchen sink in a gigantic carry-all isn’t quite the right look for this event). However, if you’re attending a business meeting, a smart briefcase or shoulder bag is a good option.
- Get the right scent. Smell really matters. It goes without saying that your clothes (and you) should be freshly washed on the day. It’s also a wise idea to spray on a suitable aftershave. If you’re looking to create an air of authority, Aventus Creed is a good option. Alternatively, a romantic meal might call for a more sensual scent, like Oud Wood.
- Even the tiniest accessory can create real impact. For example, your jewellery speaks volumes. If you’re going for a professional look, you’ll want to avoid anything to bohemian or ‘over-the-top’. If you’re wearing a belt, make sure it coordinates with the rest of your outfit. If in doubt, search for some inspiration online.
- Sign with the right pen. If you want to get a signature on that contract, you’ll need to use the right pen. A scrappy biro doesn’t send out the right message – trust us, you’ll be judged on it. Instead, invest in a properly crafted ballpoint or fountain pen. This shows that you care about the contract that your client is about to sign.
- Get ironing. Yes, we know that ironing is one of the least fun jobs in the world. But if you’re planning on wearing a shirt or cotton garment, it’s pretty essential. Creased, messy tops are never going to create the desired impression.