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Creating the Ultimate First Impression

Creating the Ultimate First Impression


As a trivia host at some point in your career you are going to have to pitch for business. There will come a time when you will:

  • Be eager for events and do what is necessary to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Want to impress the venue owner to the extent that they choose to book YOU instead of the hundreds of rivals likely to be in your local area.
  • Increase word of mouth and your reputation.


Price may come into play during these negotiations, but above all else the one thing is going to matter more than most and it’s creating the ultimate first impression.

Within the first 2 seconds a first impression will have been made and this will be the level at which your negotiations start. Make a bad first impression and it may be difficult for you to recover and turn round the discussion into a business deal. Make a good first impression however means you are one step closer to getting that all important booking. Here Is a check list to making sure you are capable of creating the ultimate first impression and ensuring you drum up business.



The approach is vital….no, I am not talking about walking over and the handshake (yet) but how you approach the venue. You need to make sure first and foremost that you have planned ahead so that you are there on times as business owners hate nothing more than people who are going to be late every trivia night. If you are driving make sure your car is clean and tidy….(What if they walk you to your car and see a message rubbish filled dump?). This might sound redundant to say, but it is one that may be over looked:  Everything about your impression needs to be looked at and 5 minutes cleaning your car could be the difference between a job and no job.

Creating the ultimate first impression includes these key areas:

Ultimate First Impression

  • Dress and Grooming. Treat this as a job interview…..because essentially that is what it is. If you care about the job and desire it you need to make sure your outer appearance reflects that. It all helps create this impression of professionalism which you are aiming for and without which you will struggle to get booked. Suit, Tie, Shirt, Smart shoes….all shows you take the business very seriously and are a professional. Do you have a yellow suit and bright red tie you host trivia with?  Save it for later.  Pictures of how you dress as a game show host in your marketing materials will suffice, but it isn’t appropriate for meeting a prospective client. A proper business suit will create the impression that you are serious about trivia and that you are a true pro. Turn up in dirty sports wear? The impression will be bad and you will soon find a lack of interest from the venue owner. Make sure your hair is nicely groomed, clean shaven, nice aftershave…..all the tools needed. At the end of the day, if this is a bar, and the owner hires you, then you are going to be representing his bar so you need to give him the confidence to give you the go ahead.
  • Body language is vital during this. 51% of communication is not what you say but how you say it and this comes down to body language. It is often hard to control as it is not something we as humans normally think too much about but making good (and appropriate eye contact), a firm handshake, a firm stance, talking with your hands to show knowledge and ensuring you are smiling and nodding (to show listening) are all vital steps. You want to appear as the ultimate professional and a person who they have faith in. Going into a meeting slouching in your chair, grumpy faced (even if you are happy inside) and looking at the floor is going to set alarm bells ringing!
  • Being prepared for anything is also vital to creating the ultimate first impression.
  • If they ask for your business card, it needs to be in their hands in 3 seconds or less.  That means being prepared and having your business cards in a specific pocket ready to go, not stuffed in your bill fold which may require to take out, pick up random falling stuff off the floor, and so forth.

  • If you show up without the proper marketing materials, or you don’t offer a discounted or free sample night, or your marketing materials contain outdated/inaccurate information then it is going to cause worry to the venue owner. You need to be prepared and that goes for everything from knowing what to say, thinking about the common questions and above all having the right marketing materials. Even if the venue owner has not specifically asked to see any examples of past events they will be expecting you to come prepared with such.  Face it, you would if you were in their position! They ARE going to want examples of how you are going to market the quiz to drum up business for them and how you are going to present the night.

  • Take along a sample as they will want to see what you are planning on delivering.  Showcase a range of your technology options. I am not saying take along every single buzzer and game system you have but at least have simple but professionally prepared information, pictures or leaflets about what you offer!

  • Practice your sales pitch.  YOU know what you want to say but sometimes there is a disconnect between brain and mouth.  Practicing your sales pitch with a spouse bridges the connection firmly between brain and mouth. It is critical you avoid word-whiskers like Um’s” and “Ah’s”.  Your presentation should be smooth and flawless and most importantly confident.  If you aren’t confident in your presentation, your potential client won’t be confident in your performance.  Now here’s the thing:  We all have ego’s.  Our own ego prevents us from practicing with a spouse, and could be the difference between getting a recurring weekly show or not.  So, put the ego aside, get the bookings, and make money.  It’s worth the effort to practice your sales pitch!  Have your spouse throw in a few curve balls in your practice session, it gets your mind to reinforce how you will handle various comments and objections.
  • Lead them to the proper conclusion.  You could tell them, but they might not believe you.  Better yet, lead them to the proper conclusion and then they can’t argue with their own conclusions.  I often take my tablet or laptop and show them my website and social media following and let them have a look at videos, pictures and testimonials. If you can show yourself in a good light and how you have marketed the trivia services you offer for other venues it will start $$$$ signs rolling in the owners head.  They will start to show an interest.  Have stats about how many people you attracted to the last venue and a plan of how you are going to do it all over again for them!


Bad First Impression

Don’t create a bad first impression!

In all, creating the ultimate first impression counts and that matters in every single area of business and with the trivia industry being so competitive and so cut throat, if you do not get it right, someone else will and they will get the booking YOU deserve. The first meeting is going to be the crucial one and if you leave any single shred of doubt in the minds of the venue owner then they are always going to go with the doubt and seek for someone who gives them more confidence. Don’t let something minor stop you getting the booking you have planned and prepared for and make sure you have everything right. If a meeting goes wrong, look at how and why and try to improve next time. After a few tries you will get a slick, positive first meeting that gives off the impression you desire and following some of the steps above is as good a place as any to start!

3 Responses to Creating the Ultimate First Impression

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  3. […] the first impression to the last, throughout all the marketing materials, websites and samples, the use of technology […]

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