First impressions are also lasting impressions. Many people cannot recall the last time they saw a certain person, but can absolutely remember the first time they met them. What he was wearing, what she said, where it took place, and so forth. First impressions stick out in the human brain like a sore thumb. Because of this, it is important to keep this in mind as you travel through your life; especially in business. While you may not give two craps what Sally down the street thinks of you, the chances of you caring what a potential client thinks are pretty high. Here are some simple ways to make a good first impression on folks in the professional industry specifically.
Way #1-Be On Time
Nothing screams “I don’t care” more than being late to something, especially when it is a business meeting and you have never even met the person before. Just like you believe your own time is valuable, treat others as though their time as even more valuable.
Go one step ahead of being on time by arriving 10-15 minutes early. I know I know, that might be extremely hard for some of you, but you can do this. If Jonah Hill can gain and lose weight at the rate he does, then you sure as heck better be able to get to a meeting on time. #goals
This point may seem incredibly obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people walk around this earth with RBF (look it up). If you are participating in such a behavior, you are turning off more people than you may realize. Show off those pearly whites or forever be ingrained in peoples’ minds as the serial killer dude that hates life.
Way #3-Be Friendly
People are going to have a great first impression of you if when you meet you are smiling, outgoing, compliment them, and just plain ole’ kind. If you are on your way to a sales call to meet a potential client and have had a uniquely bad morning, put your big girl panties on and forget about it for the time being. While there is a time and a place to be transparent and vulnerable with others, meeting a potential client for the first time is not that time. Ask for their name (and remember it), shake their hand, and if appropriate crack a joke or two. This little gesture will go a long way.
Way #4-Dress Appropriately
This one is huge. For visual people, especially, what you are wearing will make an immense first impression. Do not treat your first business meeting as a time to flaunt your new halter top or short skirt. Save that for the clubs. Instead, wear age appropriate modest clothing. Also, wear colors that compliment your eyes and hair. For example, if you’re a redhead, please don’t wear a red shirt. Don’t go over the top with colors and patterns, either. Basically, leave your Lula Roe leggings at home.
Way #5-Be Confident
If you are nervous on the inside it is going to translate to your external appearance. Be confident of who you are and what you have to bring to the table. Be knowledgable and well spoken in your products and services, ready to answer any questions that may arise.