Great first impressions

First impressions count. Ace your new client meetings with these “easy-to-do” tips.

We all know the old adage – first impressions count. Never a truer word was spoken when it comes to selling, where potential clients can and will make a first impression of you within five seconds or less.

Let’s say you’ve nailed the referral call, you’ve even won them on the follow-up call, now comes time for the first meeting. Here are a few tips on how to win a potential client over in under five seconds:

Dress for success

Our mothers have been telling us for years that we have to look the part. Believe it or not, there is truth to this nag because clients will make their first assessment of you before you’ve even opened your mouth. Choosing your attire well and dressing like the great financial advisor you are (you’re welcome) will speak unspoken volumes to the client. Consider your suit choice and colour, and don’t forget your accessory choice as well. Apparently, your watch can say a lot about you too.

Arrive early, but not too early

No-one likes it when someone has arrived 45 minutes early for an appointment. Everyone hates it when you’re late too. Don’t do either! Arrive a few minutes earlier than your scheduled meeting time in order to make sure you look prepared and prompt but not over-eager or completely slack.

The Handshake

We’ve all met those people who have handshakes that could make Floyd Mayweather cry. We’ve also met those people who have handshakes that would make your Grandmother’s look like The Hulk’s. Always greet with a firm, sincere and friendly handshake that says “I am confident and relaxed” without appearing too strong, or too weak.

Be Prepared

Fumbling through your laptop bag through reams of paperwork to find the client’s particulars, all while dropping your cellphone, and cussing under your breath in frustration does not give the client a great first impression. Make sure you are prepared for the meeting, with your documents in the right places, neatly arranged and easily accessible. If you are using a laptop or tablet, make sure the funny pictures of your pets, or last weekend’s bachelor party are safely stowed away in a private folder.

Listen

Listening is the last ‘first’ thing you can do to leave your clients with a lasting good impression. They will feel attended to and understand if you really listen. They will feel like their concerns and needs have been heard and that you are the right person to work with in order to get them what they want.

Are you a dynamic financial advisor looking to continue making the best first impressions with clients, and a new fresh challenge? Drop your CV to sean.gilliland@dfc.discovery.co.za.

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