Try and recall the last ‘first’ impression you had to make. It might have been on a date, or when you are visiting a home and are hoping to get some money knocked off the value. You wouldn’t turn up to these events a drunken lout, would you? You wouldn’t wear your pajamas or start rambling about politics, would you? You try to leave a good impression.
With every new encounter you experience, you are evaluating someone and being evaluated, by that someone at the same time. This is the first impression, and they can be pretty to challenging to change. This means the first encounter is usually the most important as it sets the benchmark for the relationship that will follow.
In your career, it’s critical to your success. You need to know how to create a great first impression! It could be the ‘make or break’ of your business, especially if you’re running a company all by yourself, or are pitching an idea.
The easiest way to start off is to simply be yourself. If you are feeling on edge or a little nervous – this can make the other person feel the same way, and you might get off to a bad start. If you are calm and confident – you’ll likely make the other person feel at ease and make a great point to make that first impression really work.
Also, be on time. If you’re pitching, interviewing or working with someone and you are late for a meeting, then the chances are that things aren’t going to get off to a great start. There are not many great excuses for running late so always plan to arrive early. There’s no harm in arriving at a meeting early, and this is something you can easily control. Nine times out of ten, anyway.
Think of your business card as well. You might want to change up things a little. Ever seen the scene in American Psycho where they are sharing cards, and they are all exactly the same? Yep – be different. Showcase your business with something like an Alpha Card – just be unique and show your ideas and products off in a different way.
The way you present yourself is important as well and should always be appropriate for the occasion – if it’s a business setting it will have to be business attire. That being said, this can wildly vary, and it all depends on what the other person is likely to be wearing.
You can’t go wrong with a clean and tidy appearance as it will be appropriate for all occasions whether they are business or social. Keep your makeup neat and tidy and make sure your grooming is appropriate for the occasion.
There’s a lot to be said for the benefits of a good first impression, so don’t delay in making one! It is so easy to get started, and you won’t regret it at all.