What Makes a Good First Impression in Business?


On Thursday and Friday this week, we'll be manning the Speed Networking area at The Business Show (we're sponsoring it, so you might notice a few logos and flyers hanging around). In honour we're hosting a competition and asking people to tell us what makes a good first impression when business networking - after all, in speed networking you have to make a strong impact - and quickly!

If you wish to enter, all you have to do is tell us what you think is key to making a good first impression by tweeting and following us (@MerchantMoneyUK) to be in with a chance of winning £100 of Amazon vouchers. The competition is now open but do make sure you get your entries in before Sunday 30 November when it closes.

To get things started off we asked a few people around the office what they think makes a good first impression, here's what they came up with...



There's nothing worse than meeting someone who looks like they've been sucking on a lemon. A warm and genuine smile immediately breaks the ice and sets the tone and vibe.

Be concise and don't over elaborate...


No one likes someone who goes on and on about themselves and uses big words just to sound better than they actually are. Also - and especially with speed networking - you've only got a few minutes to get your point across so be economical and spit it out!

Be aware of your body language...


Slouching, looking in the opposite direction, fiddling, crossed arms. Just NO people!

Punctuality is important...


The early bird catches the worm - and so on and so forth! Don't keep people waiting; they've made the effort to be there on time, and so should you.

Eye contact


If you don't look into your fellow networker's eyes (obviously not in a romantic way) then trust us, you're going to look shifty, under confident and it's a surefire way to leave without a business card.

Let them speak first and listen to what they have to say...


Always let "them" speak first. Listen to what your opposite number has to say. You can then offer a relevant response unique to them.

Confident handshake


Limp, slippy and listless...no it's not a dead fish you're holding, but a contemporary's handshake. Go in with the right, clasp your fingers round their hand and look them in the eye. Easy.

Always fix a date to reconnect your services


Not strictly something which makes a good first impression but if you make your intentions clear, your fellow networker is going to know that you mean business.

What do you think is key to making a good first impression in business? Tweet us and get involved: @MerchantMoneyUK

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