So you want to be a pro, but you’re not sure if you’ve got what it takes?
Don’t fret, Biz Kid. We’ve done the legwork for you, and collected the best advice to make a first impression and create repeat customers. So whether you’re making a sales pitch, interviewing for a job, or meeting a potential customer, you can rest assured that you’ll be putting your best foot forward.
What you have on the inside is what truly matters, but if we look sloppy, our passion and message won’t shine through. Your appearance shouldn’t be a distraction – it should communicate that you are responsible, and you care about the interaction with the customer in front of you. Here’s a few specific questions to ask yourself before your next meeting:
▪ Does my appearance make me look responsible? Do I look ready for work?
▪ Are my clothes wrinkle-free?
▪ Is my hair neat?
▪ Have I brushed my teeth? Do I have jam on my face?
Talking to adults, or customers of any age, can feel intimidating, but be confident. You’re a Biz Kid. You are no average teen. People will enjoy hearing about your idea. Here’s a few pointers to being an effective communicator:
1. Practice a firm handshake. This is communication through body language. A firm handshake communicates confidence and pleasure in meeting someone.
2. Look ‘em in the eyes! Customers are more likely to trust someone that looks at them directly, instead of at the ground.
3. Smile! When people perceive you are excited about your idea, they will be too!
4. Listen. Everyone likes to be heard. Ask people about their lives, then tailor your pitch to their needs.
5. Practice. Practice. Practice. The more you practice your pitch or personal introduction, the more comfortable you’ll feel, and the more effective you’ll be. “Winging it” is not wise.
6. Avoid “filler words.” Terms such as, “like,” “um,” and “uh” are like poison to communication. The more you practice, the more these will disappear.
7. Be efficient. No idea is good enough to keep someone’s attention for longer than they were expecting. We all tune out at some point, so be aware of your time.
8. Be thankful. Thank the person for their time, and smile as you leave.