We are living in a world where everything is about the image.
The outfit is very important for the first impressions and studies show that people respond better to interactions with nicely dressed and good looking discussion partners. Moreover, when I wear something elegant that I like, I feel more relaxed and confident, state of mind that gives me better chances to perform well at the meeting.
I usually pick high heels for the outfit, not only because they boost my confidence, also because studies show that taller people earn more. It is not clear if it is just a psychological bias or it has other reasons, I choose to look tall (I am already tall also without heels). So if it will be a negotiation of prices, salaries or other contractual terms, the 8 cm heels are on (higher may just not be appropriate for business)!
I usually plan very carefully the “looks stuff” because it is not one of my strength. I am more a sportive type and I like to hang out in sneakers, loose jeans and a comfortable t shirt, no make up at all. When the time comes for the “big meeting” I am more worried of how I look than what I say, because the experience and education is at hand at any time, not really like the competent business look.
Find out about the company
I start researching about the company which representatives I am going to meet, everything I can find on the internet, ask friends around. I am looking for information related to their financial status, their strategy, management, try to figure out information related to the objective of the meeting.
I further try to answer following questions:
- What are the objectives of the partners whom I am meeting?
- Why they choose me (the services I offer)?
- What can I offer?
- Am I (the services I offer) the best fit?
- What are my objectives?
- Are they the appropriate partner for me (my business)?
- What is my BATNA (best alternative for the negotiated agreement)? Research say that the partner which has the strongest BATNA in a negotiation will have more power.
Find out about the person
Very important: What position has the person I am meeting in the company. Does it have authority to decide on the topic of the meeting?
I research what experience it has in the company and try to figure out if we have some common acquaintances. I try to find about family status and passions in order to have some subjects to connect. Finding some common ground helps a lot for establishing report which is the touch base for a successful meeting.
Go about your business and see what comes in the moment
After I covered the three steps above, I try to go about my business and stop thinking about the meeting. Trying to shape different scenarios or imagining what the discussion would be like doesn’t bring me any value, it just keeps my mind busy and stops me from getting good ideas or seeing the opportunities.
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