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Have a Winning First Impression Every Time

In a competitive market like the special events industry, your first impression needs to be spot on each and every time to win new clients. With that in mind, it’s important to recognize that your first impression will show through different channels for each client, so you need to be prepared to wow a prospect on every front.

You first must understand the thought process of your leads, then you need to adjust your sales approach to ensure that you are making a great first impression — no matter where a prospect is coming from.

Understanding the client psychology

At the end of the day, any new prospect is a consumer and will respond to certain types of behavior. The moment you engage with someone, they start by judging you — whether that’s through the way you dress and speak or through the photos you share on social media. Judgment is inevitable, so it’s up to you to show up with a winning personality and sell yourself.

If they feel connected with you, then they will move on to judge what they are buying. Is the product or service really what they need? Does the benefit justify the cost? This is where your proposal and your actual products and services need to shine.

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If they like what they see, they will lastly judge the company they are buying from. Even if they like you personally, they may not find the branding appealing or they may be turned off by a lack of diversity on the website gallery.

Understanding the consumer decision-making process will help you to identify where your leads are dropping off and, subsequently, make improvements to your sales funnel to impress everyone who lands on your website or walks in your door.

Perfecting your in-person impressions

When all things are equal, people buy from people they like. When you’re meeting someone face-to-face for the first time, be sure to spend more time connecting in conversation instead of merely focusing on what you have to offer.

Get to know their likes and dislikes, learn about their family, and really get a feel for their event vision. Ask about a wedding couple’s backstory — how did they meet? Get familiar with a corporate client’s brand and what their company really stands for. Make friends and build trust, the rest will come in suit.

Curating your digital impressions

Your website and social media profiles are an extension of you, your personality, and your brand. If you are able to tell an engaging story through your online presence, you will bridge the gap between a technical experience and a personal experience. Each post you create should tell a story or have a theme. Consider creating ‘characters,’ as this will leave the audience wanting to know what happens next in their story.

When it comes down to it, make it a goal for your online followers to feel like they know the real you. We don’t have the time to make an in-person impression on each and every one of them, but we can give them a similar experience by exuding confidence and openness.

The message to take home is simple: people want to work with people they like. In reality, a great salesperson is actually a great relationship-builder. Leads need to be nurtured before coming in with a hard sell, so take care of your prospects and earn their trust and respect from the very first encounter.

Meryl Snow

Owner, Feastivities Events, Philadelphia, PA and Senior Consultant, Certified Catering Consultants

With nearly 30 years in the special event and catering industry, Meryl Snow is the co-founder of Feastivities Events and the creator of The Triangle Method.  As a Senior Consultant for Certified Catering Consultants, Meryl travels throughout North America training clients in the areas of sales, marketing, design and branding to help businesses get on their own path to success.She is the author of Booked It! and Cha-CHING!

Meryl Snow

Catersource Advisory Council Member

Founder of