“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”— Andrew Grant
First impressions count. With every new encounter, you are being evaluated. Studies have shown that a person forms their first impression of another individual somewhere between seven seconds and two minutes. First impressions are always being formed and they are nearly impossible to undo, making these first minutes extremely important.
Here are some simple steps to guide you toward making a positive first impression every time:
Prior to the introduction, take the time to research the person’s background, as well as their company information. It may also help you formulate questions for your meeting.
BE ON TIME
Give yourself more time than you think you need to get to the appointment and plan to get there a few minutes early. “Being late” is at the top of every list of the things that squelch a good first impression. Someone you are meeting for the first time is not interested in your “good excuse” for running late. Being on time is the first step in creating a good first impression — and a lasting one!
Is your appearance saying the right things to help create the right first impression? They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and so the “picture” you first present says a lot about who you are to the person you are meeting. Be polite, smile, make eye contact, dress to impress, and listen before you talk.
Your attitude shows through in everything you do. Project a positive attitude. Strive to learn from your meeting and to contribute appropriately, maintaining an upbeat manner and a smile. Even if you’re nervous or in the face of criticism, stay positive and offer solutions.
Always approach the first meeting knowing that this reason you are meeting is not about you. Creating successful impressions is about understanding that it’s all about the other person. Make it all about the them by considering how your product and/or services will provide the individual with solutions and benefits.
BE AN ORIGINAL
Don’t ever feel like you have to be like everyone else. You are your own “brand” and an original that needs to stand out. One of the best ways to make a positive impact on someone’s first impression of you is simply by being kind, genuine and respectful. This approach is simple yet authentic and a rare commodity in the business world.
A good first impression with confidence sets the tone for what you represent and has the power to make or break a business relationship. Your efforts toward creating a good first impression can create long-lasting business relationships.