As much as it may hurt, people WILL judge you–by the things you do, say, and the way you act. These small things can affect your personal and professional relationships with others. If you want to start off a new business relationship on the right foot, it’s important that you know the areas in which you will be judged:
Show up late, and you are proving your lack of professionalism. Show up 5 to 10 minutes early, and you’ll guarantee a good first impression. Being early shows you are proactive, organized, and professional!
How firm is your grip? A weak handshake instantly makes the other person think that you are a weak person. If you want to start off the business relationship on the right foot, shake hands with a firm grip–not bone-crushingly strong, but firm enough to show you mean business.
Do you look at the person’s face when you talk to them, or do your eyes tend to wander? Introverted people have a harder time making and maintaining eye contact, which may give the wrong impression. Eye contact is so important!
Are your nails bitten and ragged, or are they clean and neatly trimmed? Clean, trimmed nails show precision and organization, while bitten nails indicate a lack of self-control. Hands that are very rough, dirty, or sweaty will also give a bad impression of you as a person.
How do you interact with the servers and attendants at the restaurant where you are having your business lunch? Are you kind and friendly, or do you tend to be brusque and demanding? How you treat wait staff is indicative of how you treat your employees.
Do you often pull out your phone to check it? Even if you’re just checking the time, it can be perceived as a lack of respect and interest. ONLY pull out your phone if it rings. Get a watch to check the time, and keep your phone out of sight during the meeting.
Handwriting may not be as important as it once was, but there is still a lot to be said about a person’s handwriting style. Are their letters neat and clean? They usually will be too! Are their letters chaotic and illegible? This is usually indicative of their personality. The style, shape, thickness, and pressure of your handwriting says a lot about you.
There is such a thing as “too much” smiling. Over-smiling can make the person believe you are hiding something or trying to manipulate them. Make an effort to be friendly and polite, but don’t try so hard to become friendly that you drive them away.
Follow this advice, and you’ll always make a good first impression!