What’s true for impressions is true for meetings! If you’re a super busy professional, you’re keenly aware of 1st impressions when you’re meeting with someone new. You know that it is important to come off as energetic, strong, confident, and really put your best foot forward.

Hopefully you won’t come off as tired, weak, sloppy, or even disinterested to the new person you’re meeting, because that person standing or sitting in front of you could easily be:

  • a potential customer or client
  • a strong referral
  • a possible partner
  • a future “raving fan”

As a CEO Catalyst / Executive & Life Coach, I have the opportunity to meet with all sorts of wonderful and fascinating people — and I know that every meeting counts! Whether you meet a person in a networking event, through a professional site (such as LinkedIn), a special event you hosted, or because of a referral, each new contact holds untold potential for you personally and professionally.

And with regards to this opportunity, people who are better prepared typically win over the less prepared! You might have all the proper attire on, have all the right words to say, and even have a snazzy business card – but one overlooked issue can turn the overall impression sour – fast.

Maybe you didn’t have all your facts straight about them or their company. It’s possible you left your sales collateral at the office, or maybe even called them by the wrong name. Sometimes the attention of you or the other person speaking takes a backseat to all the busyness going on in a crowded and noisy location. If the meeting place itself is an unfamiliar location to you and causes you to be late – that can be a distraction to the person you’re meeting with, or worse yet, seen as a sign of being disrespectful to their time.

I remember a time I was late to a one-on-one meeting because I couldn’t find that little coffee shop tucked away in that unfamiliar strip mall. I arrived apologetic; the meeting started off on an awkward foot; and I had to compensate to regain the good first impression I was trying to make.

Sadly, many business professionals don’t give a second thought to the destination for their meetings. Somehow, they’ve accepted that it’s respectful of both parties to duck into the nearest Starbucks, yell over the screeching espresso machine, talk through the crunching of the ice blender, and look past the screaming children and constant distractions of people walking past.

I’ll bet many of you can remember meetings in the past where this has been exactly the situation – and you probably don’t remember the conversation, but you remember the screeching of the espresso machine.

The environment in which you hold your meetings is all part of the overall impression you leave with the other person after the meeting ends. Taking careful attention to all the details of a one-on-one (or group) meeting, and having it in a distracting, noisy and unprofessional setting, is like dressing for success in an expensive, finely pressed 3-piece suit, but wearing flip flops instead of dress shoes. It kind of kills the whole overall impression, no matter how attune you were to all the other details.

Keep that in mind the next time you’re looking to sit with a new contact who might be a prospect, potential referral partner or someone coming into your network.

Instead, choose a location that meets these criteria:

  1. spacious enough for your needs
  2. some amount of privacy
  3. a heightened level of professionalism
  4. easy to locate
  5. minimal distractions
  6. accessible to the internet for presentation needs
  7. and quiet – for undivided attention

Just like you wouldn’t show up in a $3,000.00 suit with flip flops, don’t spoil your first impression by carelessly choosing a location that distracts (and detracts) from the short amount of time you have with this individual. Be respectful of them, and yourself!

You want to impress upon that person (or group) as many favorable feelings, thoughts and emotions about the “good first meeting” you had. Most often, this will make or break a decision about whether they want to continue to get to know you, give you their business, or go meet with your competition!

Personal Plug: I joined the City Club of Buckhead (www.cityclubofbuckhead.com) because I wanted to make sure my meetings fit all of the criteria above. They are an amazing club and are well worth checking out if you are seeking a network and build relationships in the metro-Atlanta area.  If you’d like to check out the City Club, call Amanda Chasse, the Membership Director, at (404) 442-2600 and mention my name.

So, now that you’ve read  the information above, how are you going to use it to make 2010 a fantastic year for your life and/or your business?

Please take a moment and share your ideas in the comment section below.

Enjoy the rest of your day!  ~ Kris


About Kris Cavanaugh

Kris Cavanaugh, owner of ShiftTM, is a Speaker, Author and Coach who specializes in helping others cultivate a C.E.O. mindset in every area of their life so their businesses, careers, and personal lives thrive.  She is an expert strategist with an amazing ability to pull her clients through difficult challenges to obtain the life they truly want.

If you have a desire to live your life “on purpose”, so you wake up every day excited about the possibilities and maintain an unwavering belief that you will overcome any obstacles to achieve your personal and professional goals more easily, call Kris at 404-551-3601 or go to https://begintoshift.com.aepiph.dev/landpage/MakeTheSHIFT.htm to schedule your complimentary meeting today.

Kris is author of “Stuck to C.E.O.” now available from Amazon at http://amzn.com/0982663668.

Need a Speaker?  
Kris Cavanaugh is a Professional Member of the NSA (National Speakers Association).  If you or people you know are seeking speakers, panelists, or workshop instructors for any type of association, corporate, nonprofit or industry meeting, please contact Shift, Inc., at events@begintoshift.com.aepiph.dev.  You can learn more about Kris’ presentations at

91 thoughts on “You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Meeting”

  1. Hey how are you doing? I just wanted to stop by and say that it’s been a pleasure reading your blog. I have bookmarked your website so that I can come back & read more in the future as well. plz do keep up the quality writing

  2. Hey Dave!

    Forgive the delayed reply. My blog site had a glitch and hasn’t been notifying me of comments.

    Regarding the link from my wordpress blog to linked in….it’s a application that wordpress has. If that doesn’t answer your question, give me a call and I’ll see how else I can help.

    Have a great week. ~ Kris

  3. Hello Mary Beth!

    I apologize for the delay in responding to your post. My WP editor had a glitch and didn’t let me know about any of the comments I’ve had on my blog. Whenever you’d like me to be a guest speaker, let me know. Give me a call if I can be a resource to you in any other way.

    Enjoy your week! ~ Kris

    Have you made the SHIFT to “C.E.O. of Your Life”©?
    Helping people capture opportunities most others miss to fast-track life/work goals.

    Kris Cavanaugh
    Speaker, C.E.O. Catalyst & Coach
    Shift, Inc.

    Author of Stuck to C.E.O.
    Co-Author (with Carrie Pierce) of Making Peace With Menopause

  4. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found this for him smile. So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  5. Substantially, the article is in reality the freshest topic on this related issue. I harmonize with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your approaching updates. Saying thanks will not just be enough, for the tremendous clarity in your writing. I will immediately grab your rss feed to stay privy of any updates.

  6. Salut!, This page is high-quality and so is how the subject was written about. I like some of the comments also even though I would suggest we all stay on the suject to add value to the message. It will be also encouraging to the one who penned it down if we all could make mention of it (for some of us who use bookmarking services such as a reddit, twitter,..). Thanks again.

  7. It is the greatest post I examine as of today.Wherever did you got all of the data from? This can be extremely helpful and very education. I will remain awhile in here. Really worth reading each and every words!Thumbs up!I would like to do link exchange with you. My site about electronic consume review.

  8. Simply want to say your article is as tonishing. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

  9. It’s really good to know. My friend told me about the page and it gives me more and more insights about the overall page. Thanks for having it here!

  10. Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

  11. Hello. Congratulations on your blog. You have done a really nice work. Do you accept guest posts? I’ve written several weeks ago an article on your niche and I was wondering If I could post it here. Contact me from the email I have provided here. Many thanks

  12. Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i’ve been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share.

  13. This is my first time visiting your site. I do envy you since you seem to get a lot more comments then I do. Do you have any secret tips on how I can get more comments or do I just have to be paitent? Anyway, keep up the good work.

  14. Thank you for the work you have put into your nice blog. We will bookmark to your blog because it is very informational. We love the site and will come back to see your new posts.

  15. love reading through your article post, You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Meeting | Shift , I am sure I have learn something and thus would like to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation……It shows that u really have put alot of effort for your blog.

  16. I’m honestly not to familiar with this subject. you made it seem pretty interesting though. i really only surfed your blog to get some ideas for the blog im getting ready to launch, but besides your design i enjoyed your wrtings too

  17. Thanks for this interesting story, even if it took quite a long time to understand. (English is not my national language) May I ask where you get your information from? Thankyou! Suzie

Comments are closed.