The first impression – a short practical guide
The first impression is decisive for everything that comes afterwards or will not come afterwards. I mean, after the first impression. This first impression is very difficult to revise – if at all.
And by definition there won’t be a second chance for the first impression. This is true. Our psyche, our mind, our heart work like this.
The first impression in sales
Especially in sales, this can have fatal consequences. We only have to think of complex b2b sales projects with many involved persons: In a large company, any person whom we happen to meet in the hallway or in the elevator before our important meeting can end up as a decisive stakeholder for this project. Example: The secretary (or even worse: the secret concubine) of the decision-maker.
Therefore we should always assign high importance to this first impression. A perfect first impression requires work, preparation and effort. Because like (almost) everything, also our first impression can be trained, rehearsed and exercised.
Here are a few simple basic rules for the first impression:
1. First and foremost, in the first impression, it is about the other person!
In the first minute of interaction with an up to that point unknown person it should be primarily about the other person, not about one self. So you should not tell too much about yourself, but rather listen and let the other person speak.
This also includes – amongst many other aspects – simple things such as, for example, that their names are remembered and pronounced correctly. For unusual names, you may also ask.
2. In the first impression, it is about the whole picture of your appearance!
The overall appearance is the sum of many small details, such as handshake, facial expressions, posture and attention focused to the other person. Of course, it is also about the clothing. It does not necessarily always have to be a suit or a tie, but it should be neat, respectful and appropriate. A look into the mirror could be helpful! We should act self-confidently and not try to artificially raise awareness. We should speak clearly and coherent, but without artificially bringing ourselves to the forefront. We should avoid imposing ourselves on a closed group. A little tip: Of course you can also practice things like handshake, smile and eye contact. Just do it!
3. For the first impression: Be positive!
In a first contact situation there is no space for negative topics or criticism of any kind (also on competitors). The first impression should be remembered as something positive. Negative vibes – even if the new conversation partner agrees – rub off on the mood, on the atmosphere and thus on yourself and this will stay in the emotional memory. Because one remembers people in a positive way, if the situation was positive.
Usually it is obvious, when behavioral rules of this kind are only set up, are only masquerade and façade. We should therefore rather live those rules. Only in this way do they become credible.
The DISC-booklet is free for download as your personal starting point in everything what has to do with the DISC-model.
Copyright © by Dr. Martin Auer, 2017
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