The Power of First Impressions

April 3, 2018

“Almost everyone will make a good first impression, but only a few will make a lasting impression. “

– Sonya Parker

 

 

 

The phrase: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is one that you will hear frequently in the business world; if you want your venture to succeed, it is essential that you take the time to get it right in the first instant. After all, a bad impression can seldom be remedied. A business runs on personal communication as much as it does on money, and if you want to be successful, it is vital that those who have cause to connect with you receive the very best impression from the outset.

 

First impressions have the ability to make or break a business, and a positive experience can create long-lasting business relationships. For this reason, it is essential that you work on that first impression; for example, the way in which you present yourself and your venture in public, how you communicate with colleagues and clients, and the ways you publicize yourself. Making a good first impression is particularly important when it comes to meeting customers, pitching to potential clients, or during interviews. These are the key points at which people will meet you and begin to form an impression of you and the services you’re offering.

 

There are a few essential components to making a good first impression; namely dressing well, taking care of personal grooming, projecting a friendly manner, and being able to communicate clearly and concisely. Do not ever underestimate the importance of a strong handshake, or manners and etiquette; these can speak volumes. If you want to make a good impression first time round make sure you are professional, and confident in yourself and your business. Take the time to research potential clients or employers, and be clear how your services can be invaluable to them, rather than dwelling on what others can’t do, this will create positivity from the outset.

 

Psychologists have devoted their entire careers to studying the science behind what makes a first impression so meaningful, and yet its power is rarely overvalued. The halo effect – the tendency for an impression created in one area to influence opinion in other areas – is all too real. If you enjoyed/disliked the first few paragraphs of this blog, chances are you’ll draw assumptions about the remainder to determine whether to continue/stop reading. Research indicates that nearly one-third (31 percent) of rookie employees have quit a job within their first sixth months of employment

 

Did you know that 38% of what makes up a first impression is how you sound?  Only 7% of a first impression are the words you say. So all together, only 45% of a first impression has anything to do with the words coming out of your mouth.

 

That leaves 55% of a first impression to visual. It’s how you look, it’s how you dress. It’s how you stand, it’s how you shake a hand. It’s if you make solid eye contact. It’s your personal appearance.

When asked 1 student on their opinion of 1st impressions in the workplace, they replied “ 1st impressions can be either very beneficial to one’s career, or can be detrimental to one’s career”

When a senior analyst at Capital one was asked how 1st impressions impact their profession, they answered “In the workplace, during those first few early days when a new worker is meeting everyone, first impressions are about future potential. New workers need to realize that first impressions are remembered.”

 

General tips that one can practice ensuring a long lasting first impression include but aren’t limited to are being on time, being yourself and personable, presenting yourself appropriately, and being confident.

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