Making a great first impression is key in business to get off to a good start. It takes just a quick glance-- 4- seconds--before the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and your dress.
Be on Time
Someone you are meeting for the first time is not interested in your "good excuse" for running late. Plan to arrive a few minutes early.
Be Yourself, be at Ease
If you are feeling uncomfortable and on edge, this can make the other person uncomfortable and that's a sure way to create the wrong impression.
Present Yourself Appropriately
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so the "picture" you first present says much about you to the person you are meeting.
A Winning Smile!
As the saying goes, "Smile and the world smiles with you." A warm, confident smile will relax both of you.
Be Open and Confident
Your body language and physical stance say much about you. So to project appropriate confidence and self-assurance: stand tall, smile, make eye contact, greet with a firm handshake--not too firm (this wreaks of insecurity).
Small Talk Goes a Long Way
Conversations are based on verbal give and take. So take a few minutes to learn something about the person you are meeting for the first time before you get together.
Your attitude shows through in everything you do. Project a positive attitude, even in the face of criticism or in the case of nervousness. Strive to learn from your meeting and to contribute appropriately, maintaining an upbeat manner and a smile.
Be Courteous and Attentive
It goes without saying that good manners, polite, attentive, and courteous behavior, help tremendously. One modern manner worth mentioning is that you turn off your mobile phone during your meeting. Everyone understands attending to phone alerts, but imagine how special it would be if you didn't allow the cell to share the time with someone you're meeting for the first time?
In nutshell, much of what you need to do to make a good impression is common sense. But with a little extra thought and preparation, you can hone your intuitive style and make every first impression not just good but great.