Some of the questions I was asked in a recent webinar for the Association of Financial Advisers’ Inspire series centred around creating a strong first impression in meetings, online and in networking.
Here are the tips I shared with this audience as well as workshop out with teams and private clients.
#1: How can I make a strong first impression and build trust quickly in a meeting with a new client or prospect, particularly if they may not naturally see me as an authority (because of gender, age, ethnicity bias etc.)?
- Be prepared to be confident and demonstrate ability – know the client; prepare contributions / questions, and understand expectations around this.
- Can you break the ice beforehand and show you care – e.g. phone call to introduce yourself and ask what they’d like to get out of the meeting?
- Know and make use of confident non-verbal language (such as appearance, body language and tone of voice).
More on structuring a great meeting with a prospect, client or new contact
#2: What special considerations are there for building trust and influence in virtual and online environments?
- It’s harder to make a connection, so you have to compensate e.g. turn up the energy and the smile, make eye contact using the ‘green dot’, think about their experience and how you can prepare to connect.
- You may need shorter meetings but more frequent touch points online.
- Find out how they prefer to be communicated with e.g. phone call, Zoom, Facetime, Whatsapp group text, LinkedIn voicemail!
More on networking online
#3: What tips can you give ‘introverts’ or those who hate networking, to approach networking with confidence and impact?
- Arrive early to get comfortable before the room gets full.
- Choose events/activities that are scheduled when your energy is high.
- Focus on 1-1 or small group activities where you can have meaningful conversations instead of ‘working the room’, e.g. committees, phone catch ups, lunches.
- Choose networking experiences with a discussion element focusing on a topic you are interested or confident in e.g. business book club, online forum.
- Have a plan of what you ask to break the ice.
- Prepare your response to ‘What do you do?’
More on networking if you feel you are ‘introverted’
Or join me at the next planning workshop to get your ‘New Normal’ Network Strategy sorted for 2022…