If you’re meeting clients for the first time and you want to make a good impression, you’d better make it fast. Research has shown that we form opinions about other peoples’ characters just seconds after meeting them (or possibly even milliseconds).

So if you want your clients to view you favorably and as someone they can trust, you need to make sure that you start off on the right foot. To help you on your way, here are a few “do’s and don’ts.”


  • Mumble
  • Hunch your shoulders
  • Cross your arms
  • Fidget
  • Look unhappy or angry
  • Look unhappy or angry and then suddenly smile when you notice someone looking at you (this is creepy)
  • Smile continuously, regardless of what is being discussed (this is also creepy)


  • Curve your lips up slightly into a pleasant expression
  • Greet people warmly
  • Stand with your back straight
  • Keep your arms relaxed at your sides
  • Keep your elbow at your side when shaking hands (instead of extending your arm out)
  • Smile when appropriate
  • Lean slightly towards whoever is speaking and focus intently on what he or she is saying

Good luck! And remember to make those first few seconds count!


Shellenbarger, S. (2018, January 30). The mistakes you make in a meeting’s first milliseconds. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-mistakes-you-make-in-a-meetings-first-milliseconds-1517322312?reflink=wsjevgrn&mod=e2fb