Don’t be such a downer
Your natural temperament may be cynical, sarcastic, or ultra low-key, but if you have a job working with customers or clients, you need to figure out a way to do your best Pollyanna imitation—especially if the client seems bored. “When dealing with a potential client that is showing signs of “lack of interest,” employees need to be able to make responsive judgment calls and steer the conversation to a more uplifting and interesting manner,” says Cody Schuldt, president and CEO of Spartan Digital.
Stick to the point
It’s understandable that you feel your work is the most important thing, but don’t expect everyone else to feel the same. The best way to start things off right with a new client or partner is to be respectful of their time. This means planning ahead and paring your speech down to the bare necessities. “Potential clients are very busy and they don’t have all day to discuss one project so I expect my employees to be concise about their statements and to the point,” Schuldt says. You can always answer questions afterward. Here are seven other things you can do to look smart in a meeting.