In this Part 6 we continue to explore winning behaviors you can adopt in the moments leading up to the actual start of your meeting with Ted.
When entering the meeting room, you can unintentionally signal your desire to exhibit power by scattering your things around, e.g. hanging your overcoat over the back of one chair, putting your briefcase on another and sitting on a third. By doing this you are claiming and acquiring territory. Another unintended territorial cue is to adopt a slouching, sprawling posture. This behavior gives the appearance that you are again acquiring territory and staking your claim in unneeded real estate.
Assuming you arrive at the point where you and the prospect are now seated across from one another (by the way … if there are more attendees than just you and Ted, it is best if you sit so you are directly across from, and facing, the prospect’s decision maker which may, in our example, be Ted’s boss), the next opportunity to make an important first impression is how you organize, arrange and handle your props.
By “props,” I mean your briefcase or folio and whatever documents, reference materials, notepads, laptop, pens, calculator, etc. it contains. The best practice is to place your briefcase or folio on the floor next to your chair (this is the first choice) or on the seat of the chair next to you.
Never put it on the table because it is not only assertive, territorial behavior, it can also distract the prospect, especially if it’s a nice table and you have any metal on your briefcase. If they become concerned you may scratch the table, they will focus upon that and hear very little of what you say.