All of us will have heard the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ but that is precisely what we all do. Is this so wrong?
Every time we meet somebody new we form our opinion of them within the first few seconds. This impression is based primarily on appearance and attitude.
Appearance: Dress smartly and appropriately. If in doubt as to what is suitable attire always err on the side of being too smart rather than too casual, particularly if you are attending a job interview.
Attitude: Be warm and welcoming. Smile and offer a handshake. Be interested in what the other person has to say.
The Importance of Making the Right First Impression.
Visitors to your premises however, will form an impression of your company before they even meet you or your colleagues.
Ask yourself these questions:
Is my Office well sign-posted and easy to find?
Have I allocated car parking space to my visitor?
Is there a sign welcoming them to my premises?
Is my building in good repair?
Once the visitor is with you is the reception area clean, tidy and welcoming?
Are the chairs comfortable?
Do we offer them refreshments immediately on arrival?
The Importance of Making the Right First Impression
First impressions can also be formed from the way you handle incoming enquiries, whether they are received by email, via your website or over the phone. Ensure that every customer facing person in your organisation is trained to handle incoming calls. Everyone who has customer contact has the ability to lose business by not responding in the correct manner, the tone of the response being just as important as saying the right words.
Your brand image also says much about who you are and what you do. Make sure that this image gives the best possible impression of your company. Your reputation is also at stake here as it is on your website, Twitter, Facebook and any other Social Media Forums that you use. Do not underestimate the impact comments that you make here can have. Anything you write is out in the public domain and will reflect upon your company. Be careful that everything that you say or do, including engagements with people who have made comments about you, remain positive and likely to result in an enhanced reputation (as well as increased business).
If you do all of these you are well on your way to making the right first impression. After all, as the other equally familiar saying goes, ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’.