Recently, a couple went into a loan broker’s office applying for a loan to seek about $50,000 in financing. The couple had holes in their clothing, smelled bad, and had a demeanor that made them seem a bit gruff and potentially dangerous. The secretary, used to well-dressed businessmen and modest couples, was even a bit afraid to be around them. Before sending them back to the broker, she made a point to tell the broker to mention that there wasn’t any cash on premises. In the end, they were actually very fundable, and the loan broker did do business with them. Regardless, the initial impression was that working with them probably wouldn’t be a good idea. If their paperwork hadn’t been organized, and their credit impressive, then the loan broker most likely wouldn’t have loaned any money to them. What can this story tell us? Of course, first impressions can be the difference between the financing you need and getting turned away. So how do you make a good first impression?
Be Outgoing and Relaxed
Make sure that you don’t seem overtly nervous or jittery. By being friendly and open to potential lenders, you’ll give a lot more confidence to them concerning your business plans or the fact that you’ll be able to pay them back. Having a bad attitude or being extremely reserved is likely to get you turned away. Likewise, having good posture and respectable body language will make you come across as relaxed. Don’t act like you’re robbing a bank.
Make Eye Contact
Making eye contact during conversation shows that you’re being honest with the person you’re dealing with. Someone that looks down constantly is going to seem to be a bit misleading and perhaps untrustworthy. It is a sign of respect.
Make sure to dress appropriately. You don’t necessarily have to wear a suit and tie if that’s not something you’re comfortable doing, but being clean and respectable looking is going to keep others from judging you from the get-go. You can dress in plain clothes if they’re clean, but you probably don’t want to wear sagging pants or a shirt that shows your cleavage or chest hair. Clean shoes are often a good sign that you’re serious about yourself and your businesses as well.
Have a Sense of Humor
The nicest and funnier you are, the better. If you only have a crude sense of humor, then maybe hold off on telling your favorite jokes. If the chance arises to make a small joke that is harmless, then take it. It doesn’t necessarily matter that you’re funny, only that you’re willing to smile and laugh with someone. The more pleasurable the interaction, the better it will go for all parties. Likewise, include the lender in the conversation. Letting them talk about themselves a bit is always good practice.
This means you need to bathe. This also means to take it easy on your favorite cologne. No one wants to choke on your scent, even if it smells amazing.
In the end, if you can be your best possible self without being extremely fake, your business and personal transactions are much more likely to go in your favor. Sometimes it may seem like you have to go above and beyond, but little attention to how you make a first impression is going to go a long ways when applying for a loan.