You may have your own opinions on how to make a good first impression. Making a good first impression involves many different things, the most important of which is being personable. Let me define nice and you can decide whether to agree or disagree with me. According to the dot com dictionary, pleasant means pleasant in appearance and personality. Appearance is the first thing someone notices when they first meet you and personality is not far behind. Let me touch on these two attributes first and then we will delve into the others.
If you are on sale (which I suppose if you are reading this) you need to dress well. Dress for success. You will look good and feel more professional. Also, make sure your body is clean and smells good. Your hair should be well cut and styled, your face well groomed (if you are a man or woman with a lot of facial hair), and if the barn needs to paint ladies, by all means paint it!
Before we get into the good stuff, I’m going to go back a bit, when you make an appointment, don’t tell your prospect that you will be there at a certain time, give them a block of time, that is, between 9 and 9:30 a.m. . This will give you a cushion in case you are late. Being late for an appointment will not help you make a good first impression.
Then when you walk into a date, make sure you have a smile on your face. Tell the person who greets you who you are, where you are from and who you are seeing. Then when you meet your potential client, keep smiling, look him straight in the eye, give him a firm handshake, introduce yourself, and ask, “How is he?” Turn the focus of your meeting to them, who should disarm them immediately. Let the potential customer know why you are there and what benefits you will get. Then ask them questions that will allow you to better serve them. Listen (really listen) to the wants and needs of your prospects so that you can later meet and exceed those wants and needs.
According to statistics, first impressions occur in the first 20 seconds, and a bad first impression requires an additional 20 contacts to rectify that bad first impression. I don’t know if I fully buy those stats, but you can see how important good first impressions are.
Everyone has heard the expression, practice makes perfect. Personally, I think practice makes it permanent. In either case, practice making first impressions. See how you look in the mirror. Ask others what their handshake is like. Practice eye contact and also get a canned opening (without sounding canned) pat. Know what questions to ask, practice your listening skills, and be empathetic. If being nice is key, empathy is not far behind. Now go out there and make good first impressions.