You have your first meeting with a pre-screened successful single professional. You are nervous. You are out to make a good impression. How do you do that?

Throughout SPN’s initial interview process and speaking to my clients, I have developed a list of what is important to single professionals today. I would like to share that with you. While many points may seem common knowledge, there is always a pearl of wisdom we can all learn or remind ourselves

HOT

1. Taking good care of yourself
Exercise and be fit. More than ever, people seek others who also eat healthy, prioritize their health, and are a non-smoker. Having good health is everything.

2. Looking the best you can be
Take pride in your appearance. Look good for yourself and the other person. Being well-groomed in every aspect is paramount—from your hair being neat and styled down to your shoes being polished. People feel better to be seen with someone who is conscious of how they look.

3. Good oral hygiene
We cannot say enough about ensuring that you have your teeth cleaned professionally on a regular basis and that you take care of any concerns with your teeth or breath. Smiles really count. 🙂

4. Wardrobe
Wear clothes that are current, flattering to your body type and that do not make you look older than you are. If you are not sure, then err on the side of wearing something more of a younger generation. Obviously, your clothes should be clean and pressed. After all, this is similar to a job interview.

5. Sunday Best Manners
We can’t say enough about the importance of good manners. Poor manners are like answering your cell phone at a job interview. Yikes!

The first meetings are about putting your best self out there. Some suggestions are:

  1. Always make an effort to be on time. If you are going to be late, it is important to notify the other person.
  2. Put your phone away and give the person your full attention.
  3. If there are periods of silence, it is a good idea to acknowledge the awkwardness. “Wow. So this is awkward. I’m sure there will be even more awkward silences to come.” It will help ease the tension.
  4. Be honest about who you are.
  5. Don’t be too judgmental. While you might have standards, it is still important to have an open mind. For example, if you don’t like the person’s outfit, don’t just write him/her off.
  6. If you are really interested, be sure to make a lot of eye contact. Our eyes really tell the story.
  7. Really listen to what he/ she is saying. Everyone likes to be heard.
  8. Ask questions.
  9. Be as open-minded as possible. It is really difficult to get to know someone, if you can’t be open-minded enough to give them a chance.
  10. Choose your words carefully. Leave the swearing out of the meeting. Some people are really offended by this.

Women enjoy having men being gentlemen. Men enjoy women who have a feminine side. Pulling out your Sunday best manners and etiquette is admired.

6. Engage the other person.
Everyone likes to be able to tell their story. Make the conversation about the other person and
not about you. You have the power to make the other person feel special. Intelligent people like to meet intelligent people.

7. Come prepared to the meeting.
You will seem much more engaged if you have reviewed the person’s biography before the meeting and have taken interest in some of the commonalities or notable interesting facts about the person you are meeting.

8. Confident and outgoing.
People who are sure of themselves, but not boastful, are much more exciting to talk with. They smile more, which makes you smile and puts you at ease. They maintain eye contact with you.

9. Respect
As with any relationship, be it business or personal, there is a high need for mutual respect from both parties. Each party needs to be willing to hear the other person and be courteous because respect is the cornerstone of any relationship. With respect, people feel valued.

What Is Respect?
We’re able to define respect best in times when we feel we’re not respected:

  • When we’re not recognized
  • When we’re not allowed to be ourselves
  • When our needs are taken for granted
  • When we are judged and underestimated
  • When we are forced or threatened
  • When we’re not listened to when we have something to say
  • When we’re treated as objects for use rather than as persons to be valued and loved

NOT

1. Unfit body.
Since you left university, you have felt it is ok to not adopt an exercise routine. While you know you should lose that extra 20, 30 or 40 pounds, you cannot be bothered. Is being fit really that big of a deal??

2. Not concerned about the image you portray.
The attitude- “I’m not out to impress anyone.” “If they don’t like what I look like, then it is their problem.” This cannot be further from the truth. Whether it is right or wrong, people will form opinions of you when they first see you. It is human nature to draw conclusions, based
on the first impression.

3. Improper oral hygiene
My clients have told me that this is huge. Teeth with covered with plaque, swollen red gums or bad breath, will definitely leave you without a second meeting. If a person does not take care of his/ her teeth—floss, have regular teeth cleanings, have dental work done when needed—this is one of the biggest turn-offs.

4. Outdated or unflattering clothing
We live in a very visual society. It is all about attractive people at any age. You cannot afford to not take care of your appearance and put your best foot forward. I have not had one of my clients say find me someone who is not attractive. By changing your fashion sense, you can change your image. Gone are your grandmother’s big floral prints or your grandpa’s comfortable, sensible shoes. 🙂 Seek out fashion and the opinions of others. As can be expected, clothes that are not clean and presentable are a big turn-off. This is really critical.

5. Lack of manners
If there is one thing that is “ in Vogue” after years of people meeting, it will always be manners. Looking round the room while with another person, playing with your cell phone, coughing without covering your mouth, or poor table manners, all are examples of non-negotiable dealbreakers for another meeting.

6. Talk all about yourself
A surefire way to ensure that you will not meet the person again, is to monopolize the conversation and make it all about you. Everyone feels more valued when you take interest in them.

7. “Winging” the meeting
Rest assured that if you do not take the time to get to know some of the facts about the person, prior to the meeting, it will come across as a lack of interest right from the start. This is a very difficult place to start and it will become near impossible to move in the right direction, once you have set this tone.

8. Insecure and quiet
While not all people are outgoing, there is a fine line between being timid, shy & insecure vs confident and quietly thoughtful when you speak. It is really difficult to carry on a conversation when you do not participate much more than a short response to questions. If you have prepared yourself for the meeting by reviewing what you know about the person, it will be easier to make conversation, even if you are quieter. Successful confident people seek out people with similar qualities.

9. Lack of respect
Whether it is disrespect of the person or negatively speaking about others, neither is flattering. In fact, without respect, people feel undignified and not valued.

It’s very difficult to keep up a relationship with someone who no longer respects you because:

  • Trust will be affected because you cannot rely on a person who cannot give you your minimum needs for your dignity as a person.
  • Nobody wants to be used as an object and not treated as a person of dignity and worth.
  • Meaningful communication will be hindered as you will no longer feel “safe”opening up your true feelings and thoughts to the other person.
  • Your will not be able to receive the care and affection you desire from the person, and you will also not be able to give it in turn because the other person who disrespects you will also neglect the true value of anything you may offer him, whether it be your words, your opinion or your expressions of love. (A person only takes that which he believes to be valuable and that which comes from a person he believes, values and respects.)
  • The absence of respect also signifies the absence/ decline of love in many areas of the relationship.

Statistics show that you have approximately 15 minutes to make an impression. The choice is up to you about the kind of impression you would like to leave. Here’s to putting your best foot forward!

Next Blog… read about What Men Want? What Women Want?

Blog Post Inspired by:

17 First Date Etiquette Rules Everyone Should Follow
Amanda Chatel
March 4, 2015

I Take Off the Mask!
Brave…True… Powerful
Why is Respect Important in a Relationship?
Jocelyn Soriano
July 22, 2011