Everyone creates a first impression. You meet someone new to you and in 20 seconds or less a first impression is made. Someone goes to your website and in 7 seconds OR less they have made an impression and a judgment about you. A thirty second commercial spot during the Super Bowl costs a few million dollars. First impressions are important!
Now build on top of that and keep in mind that everyone has been raised to have certain beliefs and habits – based on how they are raised, their culture, religion, values etc. You need to have an awareness of these factors in how you present yourself and your business.
I’m sure you have heard this before: “All things being equal, people will conduct business with the people they know, like and trust.” K – L – T
The first impression you make will either support this statement or pull out the rug from underneath you immediately.
How do you make a positive first and lasting impression? Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Grooming and clothing: You might not need the brand name clothing but you do need to be clean and sharp looking. The way you look and how you groom is the first thing others will notice. Colors do need to match.
- Remember your smile: You have the ability to smile. Remember to share it with the world.
- Mind your manners: When you are speaking do not chew with your mouth open. Leave the gum for later. Nothing will turn someone off more than a mouth full of food, gum, or anything else while you are attempting to speak with them.
- Know your story: Create and practice your lines that you must have right at your fingerprints. Your twenty second, one minute, two minute and five minute blurbs about you and what you do.
- Thank you cards: This one is the clincher that most people forget about – if you want to be the one who is remembered and keeping your first impression alive, be sure to send a thank you card or a ‘great to meet you’ card right after the event. End it with a nice closing such as ‘looking forward to seeing you again’. If you know they will be at a specific event mention that or include one small line that relates to something you discussed (this way they know you were paying attention).
First impressions matter! Keep these in mind and practice your lines. Everyone could benefit from working on their first impressions.
Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified personal and executive coach who resides in Stamford, CT.