Business woman making a first impression (shaking hands with a new client)

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There’s an expression: “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” That adage holds true in every situation in life:

  • In business meetings.
  • At networking events.
  • At weddings.
  • In dealing with your customers face to face (off line).
  • In dealing with your electronic customers (online).
  • In a job interview.
  • In meetings with other parents.
  • In meeting your banking officer.
  • In meeting your child’s coach or teacher.

Every time you create a connection or build a relationship, you are reinforcing your personal brand and your company’s brand and THAT IS MAKING A FIRST IMPRESSION.

How many times have you met someone and instantly formed an impression?

I call it THE RULE OF TEN.

People make snap decisions in 1/10th of a second. And their opinion will most likely never change.

It takes 10 times longer to CHANGE someone’s perception of you than to make the right impression the first time.

Let’s think about that for a minute—10 times longer. Are they going to give you the opportunity to have 9 more points of contact? Or will they ignore or steer clear of you the next 9 times?

It’s too much of an investment in time, for both of you, to try to sort that out. So be on your game from the start.

The basic need of a business to gain and retain clients is fueled by the level of interaction you have with new business possibilities.

What do you need for your business to survive? CLIENTS and CUSTOMERS.

How do you get them? By opening up new business possibilities, such as:

  • Networking
  • Face to face interactions
  • Referrals which come from networking and face to face
  • Online sources
  • Media

Everyone you meet should be considered a potential new client. Like it or not, your potential new client—your audience—judges you instantly by your personal appearance and makes judgements affecting your credibility.

So having “one chance to make a first impression” is applicable whether you are meeting a single client or a room full of people.

If you want to continue to feed your client funnel, present yourself in the best possible way every time you step out your front door.

First impressions are lasting impressions.

Remember the Rule of Ten.

Why is it so important? You might be thinking: There will always be another event I can attend or There will always be another meeting with this person.

WRONG!

If you are in business you need to shift your thinking … Think of every event you attend as your personal billboard to present your personal branding and your company branding.

Every time you step out your front door, you are representing your business—you are the face of your business!!!

Honestly … You shouldn’t run out in your sweats, unless you are a personal trainer and it’s part of your company image. If not, and you’re caught looking less than attractive, guaranteed that will be the time you see someone really important—like a new client you just started working with.

Are you sick and sniffly? That will be the time you meet someone—when you’re not feeling the best about yourself. How many times has that happened? Inevitably that’s the time you see someone, and you feel like you have to apologize or qualify why you’re not looking your best.

Think of every event—wedding, business event, networking event, a business meeting—as a room full of prospective clients. Yes, you are still representing your business in social situations.

Networking is about building your brand—your personal brand and your company brand.

~ Deb

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