Showing people that you are likable and trustworthy in your first meeting is more important than showing off the services, skills, or products your MSP business can offer. First impressions rely on an animalistic need to survive; people tend to lean to, like, and work with people they can trust from the beginning. If you are looking to make a first good impression, focus on making people feel important, respected, and good about themselves. This will help you grow authentic relationships you can leverage to grow your business.
Two Ears, One Mouth
Your ears outnumber your mouth because you are supposed to listen more than you speak. During your first meeting, maintain eye contact, smile, and listen attentively. Ask questions and pay attention to their answers. Respond with all the right non-verbal gestures, such as a nod, a frown, or a smile. If you do speak, build on what the other person says; do not give advice unless the other party asks for it. Only open your mouth when you have something important (it matters to the other person) to say.
Point the Spotlight Away from You
Never go into a meeting looking for what you can get. Instead, focus on what you can offer. The only way you can create real connections and build authentic relationships in your MSP business is by giving. Simple giving starts with listening attentively to what the other person wants and creating a connection between you and them. For example, if they share their love for a certain topic, offer to share with them an author who specializes in the topic. Immediately, you get their email address and an opening to follow up the conversation on a later date.
The Attention Gift
Every time you have an opportunity to meet with someone, gift them with your attention. Your body, eyes, and facial expressions should focus on the person you are talking to, instead of looking at your phone, computer, or even other people in the room. The only way you can give people your full attention is by choosing to disconnect with your stuff’ for a few minutes. Your gift allows you to pick on non-verbal clues and control the conversation.
The words you choose can influence the impression you make in your first interaction. Everybody wants to associate with people who are happy and enthusiastic about life. For example, if you are talking about hiring new people, you can say, “We are looking for a great mind and a jovial person to help us with client acquisitions,” instead of, “We are currently hiring for our sales team.” Your outlook on life can make people feel attracted to you.
Granted, humans like hearing gossip and getting dirt on others. However, nobody likes the gossiper. Never speak ill of others, laugh at people, or discuss the shortcoming of others. In a professional setting, it is better to avoid the topic, even if you know the truth. It will help you relate better with others.
First impressions can make or break your MSP business. If you are looking to build relationships, get partnerships and grow your client base— you need to master the art of a good first impression.