Members who attended our first KBDi Professional Development session of the year were encouraged to reflect on their first impressions.

Redman Training and Development duo, Ron and Debra Redman, discussed a range of considerations and strategies related to your first meeting with a potential new client, supplier or contractor. We’ve summarised four of our favourites below.

Reset and smile

A warm and welcoming smile works wonders in establishing a good rapport. While this seems obvious, it’s important to remember that sometimes a genuine smile needs a conscientious effort. You may be deep in concentration or in the midst of some not-so-nice work when your potential new client walks through the door or calls; allowing yourself a second to ‘reset’ will help shift you from an intense or harried state to a more receptive mood.

Take note of body language

You may have intentionally or intuitively learned to read the body language of potential customers, but have you taken the time to consider your own posture and habits? Slumped shoulders, furrowed brows and poor eye contact won’t help you win a new client. Remind yourself that your own body language is as important as that of the person opposite you.

Listen to learn – not to reply

As one of our Members thoughtfully pointed out in this session, it’s impossible to listen and learn when you’re busy holding your own thoughts for rebuttal. Practise active listening, and you’ll minimise misplaced assumptions.

Recognise the repercussions

A poor first impression can have dire consequences. If you get your potential customer offside in a first encounter, your online reputation could be tarnished with a one-star review. You could also be waving goodbye to a new contract and its associated income, and any potential referrals connected with this lead. If you don’t get off to a positive start with a new supplier rep, you could miss out on special offers or the ‘over-and-above’ service you’ve appreciated in the past. And putting your trades out with gruff first impressions could mean rocky relationships from the get-go – projects rarely flow well this way.

If improving your customer service is a goal for you in 2021, you’ll be keen to learn more about the dedicated workshop being delivered by Redman Training & Development.

The one-hour online workshop is usually $150, but Ron and Debra have extended a very special offer exclusive to KBDi Members. For only $99, you’ll have access to an indepth session devoted to improving your customer service skills. If you’re keen to learn more, complete the expression of interest form below and Ron will get back to you.

Missed the KBDi videoconference? Remember all sessions are housed in the Members Portal shortly after delivery. Check in here to see what you’ve missed.