How to make a great first impression during a sales pitch

Congratulations! You made what seems like a million phone calls to get to this moment — a one-on-one meeting with a qualified sales prospect. Now is not the time to start sweating about the possibility of blowing it. Brush up on your people skills to make sure your first impression is a good one.

First of all, it’s important to realize that first impressions do carry a lot of weight. Based on experiments conducted by two Princeton psychologists, you only have a matter of seconds before a person is already making judgements about your credibility, trustworthiness and likeability. You can increase your chances of making a first great impression with the following 5 tips.

  1. Be confident. Of course, there’s no magic pill to gain confidence — but confidence comes from knowing your stuff. And you can gain plenty of confidence by reviewing your company’s products and services, and then taking it a step further by gaining insights on how they helped current clients achieve results. Before heading to your meeting, be confident that what you have to offer can be a great solution to the challenges your prospect is facing.
  1. Study the client. Don’t go into a meeting blind. Prep beforehand, making sure that you have spent time researching the company as well as any data insights gathered on the client as part of the company’s inbound marketing process. Being prepared can help you better connect with the prospect and gain their confidence that you cared enough to do your homework.
  1. Offer a firm grip and a smile. Some things never change, and this is one of them. A firm handshake provides yet another way to make a connection and show that you’re engaged, warm and trustworthy. Produce a weak handshake, and you’ll convey that you’re hesitant. Too strong, and you may come across too aggressive. Practice the art of the handshake with a friend or co-worker. Throw in the winning smile for extra points.
  1. Break the ice. Don’t come across too formal right out of the gate. Small talk can ease you into a comfortable sales presentation. If the company has posted something in social media during the past couple of days, you can casually mention it. Or, if nothing else, comment on the weather.
  1. Wear appropriate clothing. As part of your research, find out how formal or informal your prospect’s work environment may be. If the company has a laid-back work environment — in other words, employees are walking around in blue jeans and T-shirts, don’t overdo it with a two-piece suit. Don’t try to adapt too much either. Slacks and a dress shirt may be appropriate in this situation. Be relatable.

When you’re searching for ways to do sales better, look to MonsterConnect to help out as many other sales teams have. Our sales prospecting enablement solution can help you make a connection with prospects quicker. Find out how by requesting a demo.

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