In an earlier post I recommended “5 ways to Inspire Trust in New Relationships,” even before you’ve met in person. For this post, let’s assume you’re well on your way to creating a positive impression. You are now ready to meet face-to-face. How can you build on the foundation you have already established? How can you further the feelings of trust between you and the other(s)? Here are 5 ways to do just that:
Dressing appropriately for the occasion gives the impression that you care about yourself and the other person. Wear suitable clothing that inspires confidence. Minimize accessories to avoid unnecessary distractions. Neatness and grooming count.
Arrive on time.
In the United States, “on time” typically means 5 – 10 minutes before your appointment. Use the extra minutes to gather your thoughts. Make small talk with the office receptionist. Observe the office surroundings. Glance at the publications in the waiting area. What can you learn about the company from your initial observations?
Meet & greet with style & confidence.
To show respect, stand up when the other person greets you. Present a firm handshake, maintain direct eye contact and smile. Say, “How do you do?” or “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Offer your name and listen carefully to how the other person pronounces theirs. If the other person presents their business card immediately, accept graciously and take time to look at the card before offering yours.
Make it easy for the other person to follow along. Bring written materials or visuals that you can leave behind. If you’ve done your homework well, you have researched the company’s background, anticipated potential questions or objections and prepared your response.
But first, ask more questions and make fewer assumptions. Listen to understand. Be open to hearing a different perspective. Clarify and confirm your understanding before responding. When you do speak, think first. Be brief and precise. Avoid using tentative language (e.g. “Hopefully . . .” “I’ll try . . . ” “to be honest . . . “) that diminishes the power of your communication.
How do you inspire trust with others in face-to-face meetings? Share your comments with us here.