First impressions are made in 2 – 10 seconds, and can be exclusively visual until a person gets to know you which means you one get one chance. Making a great first Impression is not an accident, but the result of planning and intentional action that’s why you have to do everything possible to make the best of the few minutes you have especially when you want to make that business deal.
Start with the basics. Be polite because being rude won’t take you to the next few minutes with the person. Also remember to always smile. The best way to make a lasting first impression in business is to be positive and show it with a smile. Dress smartly – when in Doubt, overdress especially if there is any question as to the proper attire. Better to be one of the best dressed in the room or at a meeting than to be one of the most casual. And dressing well makes you feel good and confident.
Flattery works. We all enjoy being told we look nice, or are intelligent. The secret is to use flattery subtly and in context – too much flattery quickly becomes uncomfortable, sometimes creepy and most times be mistaken for being flirty.
Be punctual. Being late to an appointment or meeting doesn’t really speak well of a person. It’s better to be very early than to get there even 10mins later. Never say “African-Time” because that is a very wrong impression you’d be giving. Being on time makes the other person(s) know how serious you are.
Knowledge is Power. Being conversant in some highly relevant applied research for their sector puts you in a position of power. Aside from the fundamentals of searching the company across all channels including traditional media and social, do some academic research on their sector.
Pay Genuine Attention. Looking people in the eye shows genuine interest. Those are among the best ways to make a winning first impression. It’s important to be present in all dimensions – physically, mentally, and emotionally when you first meet. We often try to multi-task when we should single thread.
Confidence is Contagious. Showing signs of shyness or being timid doesn’t speak well for you. Instead show your confidence especially in your delivery. Confidence is contagious. When you meet people and they sense your positive vibe and energy that makes a major impact on first impressions. People can tell who’s confident and who isn’t…So always make sure your Confidence is intact when you’re out meeting people.