Did you know that studies have shown that people who are meeting us for the first time form an opinion about us in the first seven to seventeen seconds after they set eyes on us?
I found that awe inspiring. It just goes to show you how vital the first few moments are when you are meeting potential new clients.
If you are in marketing you need to use those seconds to your advantage.
So how can you tip the odds of those first seventeen seconds giving out a good impression, in your favour?
I reckon I have learnt a bit about that over the years.
First of all most people respond very well to knowing that they are the centre of your undivided attention.
Even if they claim not to be the type of person who likes to be the centre of attention they will subconsciously form a more favorable impression of you if you make it clear that you are far more interested in their needs than your own.
Make it all about the client from the start.
We all know people who never stop talking about themselves. Think about it, do you ever like them?
The second thing I have realised is that it is not enough to just sit there and appear to be listening you have to actively show that you are engaged in what they are saying.
I have a friend (clearly not a close one) who is forever scanning the room with his eyes while you are talking to him, it is very disconcerting and I now find myself trying to avoid social situations with him.
I just don’t feel like he is interested in what I am saying. This is the last thing you want your client to think about you. Look at them and give appropriate verbal responses.
Let’s face it if you can’t do that much you are probably not going to make the sale.
A lot of people say you should use the name of the new person frequently.
While it is a good idea to let the person know that you are interested enough in them to remember their name I have a warning to sound about this one.
Whenever I meet someone who throws my name into every second sentence I immediately think they are trying to charm me, I then question why that would be.
Use the person’s name by all means but not so much that they question your motives or doubt your sincerity. That is clearly not the result you are looking for. In the sales game, it is probably a disaster.
It is important to make all these important opening moments in any relationship work for you and convincing someone that you are genuine and sincere person is vital but you probably are anyway, you are just giving them a chance to realise that as quickly as possible.
Lastly, I would say that if this first meeting does not get across the impression you were hoping for don’t despair.
Though it is true that we never get another chance at a first impression human relationships are complex and built up over time.
A follow-up second and third can change the conclusions they came to in those first seven seconds.
Surely we all have friends that for whatever reason we did not like when we first met them?