We have all heard of the value of making a positive impression when meeting someone for the first time. It only takes 3 seconds for someone to evaluate you. This opinion is usually based on your demeanor, mannerisms, body language, speech, and appearance, but it’s even more than that.
When you meet new people and enter into new relationships, what do you notice? Do you notice the clothes they wear in different settings? Do you notice the first email they send you? Do you notice the amount of time it takes them to respond to your first email or phone call? Do you notice how they interact in the first meeting you’re in together? The fact is, you intuitively notice many things that, when combined together, form your opinion of them.
I want to challenge you to start being aware of all the little first impressions you are making on people. Remember, these tiny impressions when combined together form your personal brand, ultimately influencing every part of your life.
Let me encourage you to make a list of all the first impressions you are making on the people who are important in helping you achieve your goal. To give you a headstart, here is a list of nine.
1. The first email you send. The first email someone receives from you makes an impression. How is it formatted? Is the tone friendly? Is the message clear? Is it concise? Has it been proofed?
2. The first time you greet someone. Do you smile? Do you make eye contact? Are you friendly? Do you repeat their name? Is your greeting warm and welcoming? Do you initiate a handshake?
3. The first time someone sees you. The way you look leaves a big imprint in someone’s mind. What clothes are you wearing? How much make up do you have on? What do your shoes look like? It all matters.
4. The first time you engage in a meaningful conversation with someone. Is it all about you? Do you listen with interest? Do you talk non-stop? Do you ask questions showing an interest in the other person? Do you use inappropriate language?
6. The first time you are faced with a challenge. How do you react? What is your process for addressing the situation? How do you treat others involved? You can be assured everyone will be watching.
7. The first time you have a phone conversation with someone. How do you answer your phone? What is your phone energy? Do you listen without interrupting?
9. The first time someone hears your phone greeting. Don’t think your voicemail greeting isn’t a big deal. It’s your conscious choice of how you want to brand yourself to every caller. Does your voicemail greeting properly reflect how you want to be perceived?
I’m sure you could list many more first impressions we make on people. Each of these little first impressions will play a defining role in everything from your relationships to your career.
Start focusing on making your first impressions count, while at the same time becoming the person who is consistent with the brand you are creating for yourself. As you strive to become the person you need to be to achieve your goals, you will begin to make many positive first impressions without even trying. They will become part of your standard operating procedure.
Don’t ever allow yourself to think something doesn’t matter.