The Secret to Leaving a Flawless First Impression
The first impression with a client often makes a lasting impact. We have heard it a million times: perception is reality. Do you believe it? Why? Why not?
First impressions matter. Yes, in some cases, personally and professionally, others will give you another try if your first go-around tanks. But, given there are ample people and places available, most will move on to the next best thing. So, what are you doing to ensure you impress others immediately? What are you doing to make sure others remember you?
How to Make a Good First Impression
Even before answering that, ask yourself: Do I even know how others perceive me? There are many factors that play a role in the impression someone forms about who you are and how great you might be. For example, while all excellence is equally challenging, consider these areas for making an outstanding first impression:
- Apparel – how do you dress?
- Nonverbals – what sort of body language and expressions do you communicate?
- Language/Tone – how do you deliver a message? Are you respectful and courteous?
- Handshake – is it weak and insecure or strong and confident?
- Eye Contact – are you showing them you are listening?
- Etiquette – are you minding your manners? Are you attentively listening with empathy?
- Listening – this is the foundation to excellence communication. Do you listen or talk more with customers or employees?
Paying Attention to First Impressions
Now, when you are a customer service rep, a manager, or a sales professional – the above list goes matters every day. Consequently, when you own a business, the same rings true. Clients and customers depend on you – so, if you fail the first-impression test, you are going to have a hard time making any money! Think of it this way… the more customers you get to love you, the more return customers you will accumulate automatically. The more customers you disappoint, the newer customers you will need to recruit. So, what is the secret to making a successful first impression? Details. As a result, if do not fine tune your efforts, you will make stupid mistakes that cost you.
All too often, we focus on the big things. The huge accomplishment we hope to fit into the conversation, so that the other person leaves thinking we are a legend. The major life experience that makes us look like we have done it all, seen it all and know it all. The executive title that always seems to trump everyone else’s job description. I know that my tone and language make you think you would never succumb to such self-absorbed strategies. But that is the thing – most of us do not know how hard we are hoping to highlight our SELF. And this ignorance unfortunately causes us to ignore the other more than we ought.
Pulling It All Together
The truth is that if you pay attention to the details, the other person (your report, your client, or your customer) will leave impressed by many things instead of one major thing. And the reason this matters is because if you give them one thing to hold their hat on (when they think of you), you set yourself up to seriously disappoint them when that one thing does not make it into their memory bank. Pay attention to the details of making better first impressions. Subsequently, leave them with dozens of reasons to be impressed.
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