What is a first impression anyway? According to experts, it’s a judgement people make, calling on their sensory system, intuition and sub-conscious mind which forms a mental image and impression depending on the target, whether it’s a person, object or scene that is being observed.
And all this happens within 3-5 seconds!!
Like it or not, we are all being judged especially when meeting someone for the very first time. As unfair as it may seem, it is human nature and instinctively helps to keep us safe. With that at the forefront of your mind, making your first impression count is especially important if you are in the business of connecting with people, new people, people who can help you achieve your dreams and desires.
What hasn’t been talked about so much is not only are first impressions being formed in face-to-face interactions, they’re also being formed through emails, via the telephone and online. I remember a time I was interested in subscribing to an online networking group but asked for more information before making the commitment. I spoke with their representative on the phone, unfortunately the woman was distracted and abrupt, it was a very easy decision to make not to progress with the subscription.
Who knows what was going on for her, I’m sure she wasn’t a bad person, but at that critical moment she made an impression; it wasn’t good and subsequently they lost a sale. So how do you make sure your first impressions count?
Here’s 4 simple things you can do to make every first impression (regardless of the platform) count:
- Do an online audit and take a look at what shows up. You can’t erase the past but you sure can make it count for today on-wards. Get your personal branding aligning across all social media platforms and websites and deactivate the ones you no longer want or need.
- Check your email etiquette and use a language style that aligns with your type of business or organisation. Salutations, personalised sign-offs and the use of people’s names are common courtesy…remember it’s easy to delete an email and end a relationship with the push of a button.
- What does your phone message say? Does it encourage someone to engage with you and leave a message to call them back? Do you tell them their call is important and you’ll call back as soon as you can? Maybe it’s time for a re-record!
- Face-to-face connections are one of the best ways to make a significant impact so do yourself a favour and take a moment to check your reflection out in a mirror. Stand tall, smile and make eye-contact.
People are attracted to authenticity so most importantly be yourself. I’d love to hear what other ideas you have for creating a great first impression…just comment below!