Are You Aware?
First impressions matter. A few seconds is all it takes for a client’s impression of you to form. MindTools.com notes opinions are often “based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms and how you are dressed.”
You don’t get to make another first impression. This one sets the tone for the remainder of the meeting and relationship. Generally, only 2% of sales are closed on the first meeting, but the impression formed between you and the potential client is what leads to a next meeting.
In Jeb Blount’s article, “7 Keys to Making a Great First Impression in Sales” he says, “First impressions are about likability and likability is the gateway to building emotional connections with your prospect. Emotions drive sales. If your prospect likes you they will be open to answering your questions, engaging in a conversation about their needs and situation and ultimately buying from you.”
In the end, your first impression may be the final decision that closes a sale.
Are You Prepared?
How do you make a good first impression? How do keep others from making a snap judgment based on attributes you cannot control?
When it comes to making a great first impression, you must maintain what is within your control.
- Be Likeable
Bring a good attitude, and speak politely and respectfully. Have a friendly demeanor and don’t forget to smile. Making eye contact shows confidence and puts people at ease. Be enthusiastic. Remember, you are here because you believe in the product.
- Dress Well
Keep in mind you are selling to high hazard industries. While you should look professional and put together, this may not be the meeting for a three-piece suit. Help put your client at ease by dressing in a manner that is appropriate to the setting. After all, it is the goal to build a relationship of mutual respect and necessity with each client. The client sees you as someone they must come to trust. Set that standard before you speak with what you choose to wear. Always be neat, tidy and well-groomed in appearance. Take yourself and your appearance seriously, and they will too.
- Be Organized
Arrive early. This demonstrates commitment and respect. Have materials ready to be distributed or discussed. Bring pens or highlighters so the client can take notes. Don’t rely on your own notes to guide the conversation. Be familiar enough with your pitch that you can stay focused.
- Be the Expert
Know the industry specific to your potential client. Research and be prepared to discuss statistics about jobsite injuries, workers’ compensation and the specific needs of this client. What are their strategic goals and how can you help meet those goals? What makes your product unique and a good fit for this client?
- Be Trustworthy
Start with small talk, but then listen more than you speak. Don’t necessarily go straight into the pitch. Let the customer guide the conversation. Hone in on their concerns, questions and hesitations. Listen for what they are not saying, but may be communicating through body language or amongst themselves. Acknowledgment and understanding of their concerns demonstrates respect.
The Berkley Industrial Comp Difference
At Berkley Industrial Comp, we believe in:
- Teamwork—by working with all our highly qualified team members, including our unique R.A.M.P and RESOLUTION teams, we create successful outcomes for everyone involved.
- Commitment—our employees receive ongoing training so that we are top of our field in the industry and are providing the best service possible to our agents and insureds.
- Expertise & Integrity—with over thirty years in the insurance industry, we are a recognized expert, and we hold our employees to the same high level of expectation.
It is important that these values are part of the first impression you make. In a sales meeting, you are not merely representing yourself, but Berkley Industrial Comp as a company. As our company has grown and matured, we have never waivered from our original mission to provide quality workers’ compensation. This determined focus sets us apart from our competition.
As a member of the W.R. Berkley Corporation, we are able to provide the best service possible while maintaining our family-focused feel.
As you prepare for future sales meetings, make notes of how you can improve your first impression. Ray Stendell of Customer Engagement has an excellent video series for first time meetings. Consider watching these tips.
- Ask yourself if you need to be more organized or perhaps a better listener? As one entrepreneur noted, “Understanding when to listen to your customer and address any concerns which they may have will help you to build a better rapport and make a better impression, as you will appear trustworthy and genuine, rather than simply someone who wants to make a quick sale.”
- Your first impression is about more than sales. It is about presenting the best possible solution for workers’ compensation to companies who specialize in fields with high severity and low frequency injuries. These potential customers deserve our unwavering commitment to the protection of their employees and families. This commitment begins with your first impression.