What Kind of Impression are You Making?
Everyone understands the importance of making a good first impression, but as a consultant, you’re constantly making first impressions every time you meet with a new client. Each new meeting is an opportunity to present your best self while representing the firm you work for. You’re effectively going on an interview at each new site, so you should treat it as such.
You know the obvious things like dressing professionally, making sure you’re well groomed, and avoiding inappropriate comments, but sometimes you forget the small, seemingly subtle, actions that will change the way the client views you. It’s all of the little interactions you have from the moment you walk through the front door, along with your attitude and body language. Your overall presence is being judged.
To help you make a great first impression at your next job site, just follow a few simple rules:
Keep in mind that people talk, regardless of their position within an organization, and how you treated each individual will make the rounds. You’re an outsider trying to change the way they work, it’s in your best interest to start on good terms and build from there. They should have a positive impression of you, and in turn will be more receptive to you coming back to their workplace and implementing the changes that you’re selling to upper management. Creating a positive energy around you will bolster your chances of having a good meeting and lay the foundation for a successful working relationship in the future during the project.
As they say, practice makes perfect. Obviously, you aren’t going to win every project or get along with every new client, but the more you understand how you’re perceived, the better you’ll get at making a good impression.