Background: I'm a 17 year old schoolkid who does web design as a hobby. I'd like to do paid work as a freelance website designer but I have zero experience aside from projects for myself or friends.
Suppose one day I get a message from a potential client and they ask to meet up. How should I behave when I meet them? Should I act like the people on The Apprentice or Dragons' Den: all straight-faced, serious, well dressed, throwing around long words and business-y jargon. Or is it okay if I'm more relaxed and casual? By this I don't mean I'd treat them like a friend, but more like how I'd treat a teacher at school, or an acquaintance of a roughly similar age.
Given I have no prior experience, the straight-faced suit-and-tie approach seems a little daunting and scary. The second would feel a lot more relaxed and natural and as it's what I'm most comfortable with, but at the same time I would rather be a little uncomfortable than come off as laid-back, lazy, a slacker or worse offensive, vulgar or tactless.
Is there a rule or trick to this? Should I make a judgement call on which approach would be better for that person each time I meet someone new, or should I just go for one every time and only switch to the other if they do?
(FWIW, I'm in Birmingham, England)