We hear it all the time. “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”
That good ol’ first impression, in which people “sum you up” in a matter of seconds. Some say this isn’t fair but research shows that we do make judgments about others in the first few seconds of meeting them. In a short amount of time, there can be assumptions made about a person’s income, where they live, where they work, their personality, etc. It’s up to you to exude your strong brand attributes and leave a positive perception in every encounter. By now you’ve probably had a crash course on this topic and even mastered it— but what about the importance of the second impression?
Here are examples of making good first impressions—you had a great lunch meeting, you made solid connections at the last event you attended, or a potential client was thrilled with your presentation. All of those “firsts” are great…now what?
The impressions don’t stop there. In order to pursue business relationships, what can you do? Let’s consider these steps for a successful second impression:
#1. Forget about you! I often speak about the word “W.A.M.” That means, “what about me.” Make the conversation about them by asking good open-ended questions that get others talking. By listening more than talking, you’ll show you’re sincerely interested. Just be sure the conversation is two way – not one sided. Otherwise, you can become a “WAMMER.” Watch this video for an example of a “WAMMER”.
#2. Listen for personal information. After making that initial connection, getting to know someone’s interests, favorite pastime activities, community involvement, etc. gives you the opportunity to connect on a personal level, not just business. We are human beings, not just human doings.
#3. Send handwritten notes. Saying thank you for taking time to meet is a nice gesture of appreciation. So why not thank them? This gesture has two outcomes; it shows your brand attribute of graciousness and you’ll be remembered for your thoughtfulness.
#4. Connect online. Your on-line brand identity is just as important as meeting in person. Today, more people connect via social media than ever before, especially LinkedIn for professional networking. Staying connected is another opportunity to make a good second impression.
What exactly does W.A.M. mean? I explain it in this video take a look and leave your comments. I value your feedback!
That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine
“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”
“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”
~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader
“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”
~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.