7 Ways to Make a Great First Impression

Do you find yourself making instant judgments when you first meet someone? Those judgments, which are both imperfect and emotional, have a lasting impact on the way we view and interact with others. Did you know first impressions are about likability, and likability is the gateway to building emotional connections with people? If people like you, they will do business with you. They will be open to answering your questions, talking about their needs, and ultimately buying from you or doing business with you.

We all have qualities and characteristics that make us naturally likable to certain types of people and personalities. However, we don’t always get to choose the people we interact with. Therefore, when you meet new people, it is critical to control those things that are within your power to control.

1. Always smile. Smiling is the universal language to all people. Always be aware of your facial expressions.

2. Be polite. People who are rude, impolite or discourteous are unlikable. People will notice when you put your manners to work in all interactions.

3. Dress the part. People do and will judge you based on what you wear, what you drive, your grooming and your appearance. If you engage in face-to-face conversations, wear professional clothing. Make sure they are clean, pressed and appropriate.

4. Look your best. Ensure you smell good and that your cologne or perfume is not overpowering. Ensure your hair and facial hair are clean and cut and that your nails are clipped and manicured.

5. Have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm for your product, service and company sells. Enthusiasm is transferable and infectious. Your enthusiasm is driven by your attitude and beliefs, so it’s critical to work consistently to build and retain a winning attitude.

6. Stay focused. In today’s demanding work environment, it’s easy to become distracted. You must develop the self-discipline to shut everything else out and remain completely focused on your customer or friends.

7. Have confidence. Weak people repel. Arrogant people are turnoffs. Confident people attract. Confidence is driven by your self-image, product/service knowledge, attitude, style of dress and health. Your level of confidence is a direct reflection of your willingness and self-discipline to invest in yourself.

Making a great first impression is easy if you focus on what is within your control. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

“People will do business with you if they know, like and trust you.” John Maxwell

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