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How to Make a Fantastic First Impression – Part One
If you’ve been freelancing long, then you’re likely already familiar with everyone’s least favorite aspect of the job: Meeting, wooing, and securing new clients. It’s a pain, and something we all dread. However, finding new work is vital to the security of your business, and without a brilliant first impression, you aren’t likely to be gaining any new work soon.
We feel your pain, though, and with your discomfort in mind, we’ve created this quick guide to help you make the best possible first impression when meeting a graphic design client in person. It is not always easy, and we don’t expect you to be perfect, but the next time you need to make a stellar first impression, at least you’ll have the gist of things.
- Be Friendly: We can’t stress this enough, really. If you’re meeting a potential client in person, don’t hesitate to be as friendly as possible. You aren’t going to alienate them by being nice, and in fact, showing a little bit of interest in their personal life may go a long way. Don’t go overboard with it—Acting as if you fancy them will be a huge turn-off—but a quick question about the status of their day might be well placed.
- On That Note, Be Professional: On a similar train of thought, be sure you’re acting professionally. Sure, you may be the world’s biggest sloth when laying about the house, but that doesn’t mean your attitude has to come out the door. Put on a better pair of pants than the paint-splotched jeans with holes in the knees. You don’t have to rent a tux, but dress nicer than you normally would: We’re calling it “Sunday Best.”
- Don’t Just Dress The Part: However, just because you’re dressed nicely doesn’t mean you’re acting professional. No, you’ll want to sound professional, too! Be articulate and concise, offering precise answers to any questions, and treating any inquiries with diligent respect. Likewise, smile often, laugh politely at the jokes, and generally ham it up in a business-y way. You know what we’re talking about, and before you protest, remember that putting on the schmooz may be the difference between your work method and that of much more successful graphic designers. You’re wooing the client after all, and if you aren’t a solid package in their eyes, you’re a goner.
Posted on September 26, 2011
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